How to create a search engine-friendly resume
and find a job you love
Simply put, keywords are the search terms used by recruiters to find the right candidates online. The huge volume of resumes, available all online, and sent directly to recruiters’ inboxes, has prompted many companies to use automated scanning tools to find their preliminary pool of candidates. These scanning tools use sets of keywords employers predict will give them the resumes of the candidates best suited for the position.
This means that in order to find a job you love, you must include those specific words in your resume and LinkedIn profile. These easy strategies will optimize the process and help you achieve better results.
Choosing your keywords
Research your industry’s job listings for its most commonly used keywords. Include those words in your resume where applicable, along with industry-specific terms for maximum visibility. For better results, note the listings’ “must haves skills” and include the ones you have. Apply this throughout the summary, experience, and skills sections of your resume. Do the same with job descriptions you would like to be considered for, even creating more than one version of your resume matching each specific job.
Generic terms like “team player” or “self-motivated” aren’t the keywords hiring managers are searching with. Their word choice preference has changed over the past few years, as job requirements have become more specific. Instead, optimize your resume with industry and job-specific skills like technological tools, languages, and universal standards and certifications. For example, software developers should mention programming languages, and marketers can mention experience using ROI analysis tools. In most cases, and unless the job description lists them as requirements, you can skip mentioning proficiency with MS Office, Google Docs, and other basic administrative tools.
Be an expert
Many niche and industry-specific recruiters recommend specifying your areas of expertise. For example: big data, market analytics, enterprise technology, government contracts, etc. Not only it will help recruiters find you online, but if your experience is relevant, it will jump off the page and make you stand out.
Acronyms vs. abbreviations
If your resume only contains acronyms used by selected employers, it may be overlooked. The same goes for proprietary terms. Instead, use widespread terms and their acronyms. Include both the spelled-out version and its abbreviation (for example, “Search Engine Optimization and “SEO”). This way, anyone searching for candidates like you can pick up on your expertise.
Recruiters will often look at a job seeker’s location because they want someone who is easy to reach or to avoid the hassle of relocation. We suggest not putting your location until you’ve had a chance to evaluate the position. Who knows? This might be a job you are willing to move for, so why miss out?
For jobs with specific requirements such as Series 7 (GSRE) for some finance industry positions, it’s important to list these under the professional licenses section, as well as the resume summary. Non-essential certifications can be listed under the education or miscellaneous sections.
Most employers are impressed by candidates who have worked for well-respected companies. Some will even list this as a “nice to have” in their job descriptions. If you have worked for or collaborated with well-known brands, be sure to include them in your resume (don’t be modest). It is also well worth it to include a one-liner highlighting the well-known brands, or if it’s a start-up, list any of its prestigious investors.
This sounds like a no-brainer. However, once your resume is picked by recruiters they are likely to research you online. To optimize your chances, make sure they can connect the right profiles back to you: use the same version of your name in your LinkedIn profile, business cards, social media platforms, and email address.
Lastly, use discretion
Remember to match the keywords with your actual experience, so once your resume is seen, it will compel hiring managers to seek you out.
Need help re-writing your resume and improve your chances to get a coveted job?
Leave your details here and one of our career advisors will contact you for FREE ↓