When writing your resume, you’re focused on highlighting your education, skills, and accomplishments. But how much are you paying attention to keywords?
In today’s tech-driven world, it’s critical to make sure you’re not only including keywords in your resume but doing so strategically. This is simply because most employers use a software system – called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – to scan your resume and ensure you’re a good match. It does so based on the keywords within it. Even if you’re the best fit for the job, if your resume doesn’t contain the right keywords or any at all, you might not move on in the hiring process.
So how can get your resume through the ATS and into the hands of a real person? Here are some secrets:
Research relevant keywords.
The keywords you include for one employer might not be the right fit for a different employer. So make sure you look to each job posting, as well as the company’s website, to identify keywords that are most relevant for a particular position.
Put them in the right place.
As much as possible, place keywords at the beginning of your resume. Search algorithms used in ATS software will reward those resumes that have keywords near the top of the document and flag them as more relevant.
In addition, most hiring managers focus on content “above the fold” and only spend a few seconds scanning each resume. So the closer to the top you include keywords, the better.
Use them in the right frequency.
Don’t be heavy-handed when it comes to keywords. This is called “stuffing” and you’ll be penalized by software systems and people alike. Even if a hiring manager reviews it first, using too many keywords sounds awkward and reflects poorly on you. Instead, sprinkle relevant keywords throughout your resume.
Don’t forget about the hiring manager.
In your quest to ensure your resume is properly optimized for software, don’t forget that a hiring manager will eventually be reading it. It’s why it’s important to format it properly, using a reverse chronological template that lists your most recent job first. Also, quantify your accomplishments wherever you can with numbers.
Need more help creating a resume that gets noticed?
At ResumeSpice, we can help write one that breaks through the clutter, makes it through an ATS, and impresses the hiring manager. You’ll be able to put your best foot forward with help from our skilled resume writers. If you’re ready to learn more, call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.