A recruiter once gave me an excellent tip when she said to change my resume every time I applied for a job. Why I asked? She told me that company recruiters will often use a keyword search to select the candidates that they feel matches the position. This keeps them from having to sort through the hundreds of resumes they receive. She said that if the resume does not have the keywords that they look for, then they typically go into the rejected pile.
Depending on the position you’re applying for, you should use words that will notify HR managers about your qualifications. For example, if you’re looking for a position as the Vice President of an accounting company you might want to include words such as:
- Tax Accounting
- Profit and Loss Statements
It can be very difficult to find a job in today’s economic climate, and looking for high level or executive work requires a keen eye, and often, knowing someone whose already in the organization. After updating your resume, send it to your friends in the industry and see if they are able to direct it to the appropriate HR managers.
If you’re looking for a job as an administrative assistant you should use the following words when updating your resume:
- Ability to type 80 wpm
- Microsoft Office
- Mac office
- Phone support
No matter the type of work you’re looking for make sure you ask past colleagues or friends if they know of any open positions within their companies. It’s always an excellent decision to put your feelers out and see what kind of work is available. And always change up your resume to meet the requirements of the job. It may be a entry-level position, but as long as you can turn it into something down the road, it may be worth looking into.
Tips for Working with Keyword Search Software
Many companies will use a type of software that identifies keywords in resumes. But what can you do to beat these machines?
Revise your resume so it includes keywords included in the job description during your opening. Take for example, if the job description says, “Coordinate and develop websites and blogs,” your resume must include keywords such as “websites” and “blogs”. But only if you have the experience, of course…
Update your multipurpose resume with frequently used keywords so that you do not have to revise it every time you have another job interview. One idea is to revise it every six months in order to stay current. Newer keywords may be used in the future, so stay current with them.
Add the most important keywords to your cover letter. Don’t over do it though. You just want to have a few of the choice words that HR managers are looking for.