By: Anshuman Kukreti
Getting your resume noticed by the employer is the first step towards securing the job offer you desire. Obviously your working skills, expertise in the field, overall personality and qualifications would count to a considerable extent, but that does require your resume to get shortlisted first, isn’t it?
Most resumes end up in a database, in a hiring manager’s applicant tracking system, on social networks like Google Plus and LinkedIn or a recruiter’s inbox. Moreover, the chances of an employer spending more than 6 seconds on your resume are quite meager too.
So, there sure does need to be a hack to make it noticeable and ‘find-able’ whenever someone types the search terms(commonly known as keywords).
This requires a number of things to be kept in mind while you’re building your resume. Right from strategically placing all the keywords to formatting it in the most efficient way.
The discussion to follow will build on the same line of thought and suggest possible tips that will help you gain a better insight regarding how you need to go about it. The tips here can also be applied when using an applicant tracking software. Give it a good glance to better your employment prospects.
The Resume Database: How to be Visible enough?
The human resource departments or the job boards in companies all across the globe use database systems to manage the numerous resumes and applications they get for various job profiles. These systems have their own search tools (much similar to the ones you observe online) that can scrutinize thousands of resumes in a couple of seconds.
So, what are they exactly searching for?
They gauge and shortlist resumes on the basis of keywords defining the job-opening. These enable a recruiter to understand a candidate better on the basis of information like:
- Education and Training
- Work Experience
- The Know-How of the Industry the company lies in
- Technical Knowledge
- Management Expertise
Once the search tool in the database is provided with a list of keywords:
- It pulls up the resumes that seem to consist any of these keywords.
- Ranks them in order, on the basis of keywords per resume.
However, there are some sophisticated systems that use synonyms to search for similar words too. For instance, if the search engine is asked to sort on the basis of keyword ‘writing’, the search tool might also find ‘report’, ‘documentation’ and ‘proposal’-all terms related to writing.
In addition to this, some systems allow an employer to search by giving different weight proportions on different keywords. For example, if communication skills is more significant than technical knowledge, the recruiter can configure the system to give more value to communication skills when ranking the applicants’ resumes.
So, if your resume has the right keywords placed smartly, the search engine/tool will rank it high in the search results. Isn’t that what you want?
The Right Keywords: It’s all about Choosing and Using
The trickiest yet imperative part of building an efficient resume is picking the right keywords. This requires for you to have ample knowledge of the industry and its demands. Undergoing a thorough market research and having an active professional network will make you well-acquainted with the keywords that are more likely to be searched for a particular job.
You can also check job-classifieds and advertisements to pick the ones that appear most often.
Have a look at this one:
Seeking an experienced Finance manager with a strong background in banking and auditing….
A typical employer might search for the keywords:
Finance manager and banking and auditing
The search will pull up all the resumes containing these keywords and if you’ve mentioned these, you might get an interview call as well.
What Keywords Can You Possibly Include?
Although, being role specific there aren’t a set list of keywords that’ll work for all kinds of jobs, but segregation amongst four broad categories can be easily achieved.
You can develop keywords on the basis of following category of information.
- Professional name: You need to consistently use the unique version of your name for LinkedIn, resumes, emails and networking cards, so that an employer carrying out a background check can relate you with your professional visibility.
- Location:If appropriate, you can use the city/state plus the regional name to boost your chances of being in the search results of either.
- Languages: This includes indicating the languages you speak along with the proficiency level for each one.
The Ones that tell about your Professional Goals
- The title of the job you’re targeting: The title of the profile you’re targeting, preferably the version used by a hiring manager is quite a significant set of keywords. Becoming a slash person might help, in case you get stuck in a dilemma. For instance, ‘Team manager/ Senior Team Lead’ or ‘Senior Content Executive/ Senior Content Writer’.
- Your Industry:This includes clearly mentioning your industry (either current or targeted) -Mechanical engineering, finance, marketing, sales medical devices, healthcare, management consulting etc.
The Ones that tell about your Work Experience
- Current/ Previous Job Roles: The title of the job roles you’ve held are indispensable in a resume. Keep it simple and focus on standard job titles that’re prominently used by your target employers.
- Your Current Recruiter: This requires the name of your current employer, in case you are in a confidential search.
- Former Recruiter(s): If you’ve worked for well-known companies in the past, then ensure that you have their names mentioned, clearly.
The Ones that Tell About Your Qualifications and Accomplishments
- Your Skills: This includes mentioning the skills that are high in demand for the job you seek to secure next. For example, affective communication and presentation skills needs to be mentioned, if you’re applying for the job of an HR trainer.
- Certifications Pertaining to Your Profession: Include all proofs of your professional knowledge, particularly telling about those that are applicable and current. For instance, a training certificate in Java and PHP might help if you’re applying for the job of a web developer.
- Honors and Awards: In case you’re been awarded ‘marketer of the year’ award in your previous company and it’s a marketing position you seek, then a clear mention of this feat will definitely prove lucrative. Honors like these give you an edge over others in the race.
- Clients You’ve Worked For: Mention the clients who require your services and with whom you have worked in the past. For example, a manufacturing firm or any SME for that matter of fact. In case they’re renowned, they might just prove to be a worthy reference you need during the background check.
- Major Projects: If you were a part of any major project, mention the necessary details along with your relevancy in it as a worker.
To summarize, job search is all about being persistent, focused and smart. Building an efficient resume is the first step towards it and keeping the tips mentioned above in mind, it’ll be a cakewalk. So, all you need is to get going without getting deceptive. Your right approach will definitely fetch you the desired results.
Author Bio:Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @LinkedIn.