Keywords can make or break your chances of breaking through the clutter
It’s OK to admit it: Writing a resume can be painful.
Of course, graduating from a professional training program for medical assisting, medical billing and coding, computer networking and security, or graphic design and animation may help you to be more competitive in job markets such as Northern New Jersey, the greater New York area, or New England, but all the training in the world won’t help if no one sees your resume.
Here’s the thing you need to remember: In today’s job market, many resumes are sent through electronic sorting systems. That means your document has to make it past the electronic gatekeepers before it has a chance of being viewed by a human being.
Scoring points with the computer
The sorting systems are programmed to scan resumes for certain keywords and phrases that match what the company is looking for. Any document that doesn’t have a certain percentage of keyword matches isn’t going to be seen by a hiring manager, so make sure you’re using the same terminology as the employer.
Carefully go over each job listing that you’re applying for. Be prepared to tweak your resume slightly each time you send it out. That way, you can mimic the exact language the company uses.
For example, if the company refers to certain computer programs, ensure that you’re referring to those programs in exactly the same way on your resume.
Keep in mind that your resume is a not a once-and-done deal. It’s a good idea to create one that you really like, and then tweak it for each job that you apply for.
While keywords are important, don’t go overboard so that your resume wouldn’t make sense to a human being. Remember, once your resume makes it past the sorting system, a hiring manager will probably be reviewing it.
Ensure that your resume addresses each characteristic or qualification that was spelled out in the job listing. Note specific accomplishments, including any times you served in a leadership role, were in charge of certain processes, or demonstrated dependability at work.
Of course, being truthful is extremely important. Highlight your achievements, but don’t make anything up.
Format for clarity
There are many different ways to format your resume, but don’t get too hung up on this step. There’s not a right or wrong way to lay out your resume, as long as the information is clear. Search online for a resume template and find one that you like.
Then go back to the list of characteristics you created from the job post. As you write your objective, craft it as if you’re applying specifically and only for that job. Imagine that the job listing is a puzzle piece and that you’re creating another piece that’s a perfect fit.
Have questions about how to create a resume? Stop by career services for some help.