Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Understanding the Importance of Keywords in Your Job Search

keywords

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If you are like most people, you’ve spent countless hours working on perfecting your resume and building your network. We all know that your resume is the most important document in your job search and your network is one of your most valuable job search tools.  The good news is that you are not alone in your focus and beliefs. The bad news is that your resume and network are only half of a successful job search.  As I’m sure you are well aware, the Internet has enabled job hunters to easily flood the market with their resume. Now imagine that you are a hiring manager or recruiter, sorting through tens of thousands of resumes trying to find a handful of qualified applicants. How can they sift through the mountain of resumes to find the perfect candidate?

Of course, you know the answer to the question above, the answer is keywords. But how much time do you spend focusing on the keywords in your resume to ensure that it includes the syntax that recruiters use for building keyword resume queries? I’d venture to guess not much, at least not in the same terms as the tools used by recruiters. So while most of us spend countless hours picking “action words” that are an integral part of any successful resume, most of us do not spend the time to understand the keyword search process that recruiters use.

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Put yourself in the Recruiter‘s chair for a minute and take a look at how they approach the candidate search process and what you can do to get noticed.

LinkedIn

Linkedin has become one of the most important tools for both job seekers and recruiters. But did you know that there is a LinkedIn tool for recruiters? This tool helps recruiters focus their LinkedIn “headline” has the keywords that best describe your industry and skill set. If you are actively seeking a new job, update your LinkedIn profile at least once per week, this will put your profile in the top searches (small tweaks are fine).  Another great resource is looking at profiles of individuals who are in a similar industry.

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11/27/2020 12:33 am GMT
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Keywords not working?

Everyone has (or should have) keywords on their resume. How come some people seem to be extraordinarily successful in getting called for interviews while others don’t seem to get any calls.  There is a “rule” for keywords. Take a look at job descriptions for posted jobs that match your qualifications. What are the keywords that are used in job postings? Are those words on your resume? Ensure your resume and cover letters include the keywords that are likely to appear on the job descriptions for your dream job.

Take a look at some trade publications for your industry. Pay attention to the titles of articles and the keywords used in the content. Are these words included in your resume and cover letters? Look at the industry-related words used in job opportunities for your industry.  If you use these words in your resume, your profile will come up more often in searches.

How much time do you spend focusing on the keywords in your resume to ensure that it includes the syntax that recruiters use for building keyword resume queries?Click To Tweet

To List or Not to List

There are many ways to include keywords on your resume. You can have a “skills” section and list your keywords there. You should also include your keywords in your experience section. Describing your work experience with keywords is the best way to get noticed.

ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter is a great resource. You can leverage their blog for tips on job search as well as their fantastic job search resource. You can search for jobs, checkout salaries and keep track of job applications.  Their tool (similar to other job search sites) allows search customization for open jobs.

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Leverage Your Recruiter

Your recruiter can (and should) provide help and advice with your resume.  You shouldn’t expect them to write it for you, but you can ask them for their advice on keywords and the overall structure of your resume. More than anyone else, they know what works and what doesn’t work (and they know which resumes get the interviews).

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11/27/2020 03:33 am GMT
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Other Resources

So many job search resources, so little time! Take a look at some of the links below as you build and refine your resume:

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