If you havenít looked for a job recently, there are new tactics that hiring professionals are using that you should be aware of before updating your resume.
Employers and recruiters increasingly rely on electronic resumes, resume posting boards and job banks to find job candidates. Resumes are either being scanned or input directly into keyword-searchable databases, and accessed when an employer inputs a keyword list of requirements that best describe position they are seeking to fill.
The database searches for keywords describing job titles, responsibilities and descriptions, degree requirements, computer knowledge as well as personality traits. This software scans through thousands of resumes and identifies those that most closely match imputed keywords. The more keywords or "hits" software finds in a resume, more likely it will be read by a HR professional. Keywords are most important element of a scannable resume.
What exactly are keywords? Keywords are nouns or noun phrases that identify skills unique to a specific profession or industry. Although active verbs have long been essential for building a successful resume, now noun or noun phrase that follows an active verb is equally important. For example: - Self-motivated IT manager with a strong work ethic and problem solving abilities - Talented Graphic Designer of 4-color direct mail catalogs and corporate web site design - Accomplished in Microsoft Office software applications, Excel, Word and PowerPoint - Nominated by New York Times for Pulitzer Prize in news photography
Keyword nouns are experience and skills that are specific terminology used in your job and are still relevant to your job search. Other sources for identifying keywords are job descriptions, job titles, software requirements, educational degrees, college names, company names, professional organizations, awards youíve won and personality traits. Words that are repeatedly used in trade journals and classified ads in association with job title you are seeking are also keywords.
Whatever your final word choices are, your keywords should accurately describe your skills, talents, and experience. As a word only needs to be used once for it to be considered a "hit" in a keyword search, use synonyms wherever possible to broaden your number of hits.
The Summary area of your resume should consist of several short statements that highlight your most important qualities, achievements and abilities. By tailoring every word in "SummaryĒ to your targeted goal, you can make this area keyword rich.
The most common ingredients of a well-written Summary are listed below; use what best describe you: - a sentence describing your profession - followed by a comment stating your level of expertise - followed by two to three statements related to any of following: - unique mix of skills - range of environments in which you have experience - a special or well-documented professional accomplishment - a history of awards, promotions, or superior performance commendations - one or more professional or personal characteristics - a sentence describing your professional objectives or interests Itís important to list only skills you would feel comfortable using if you were to be tested. Should position you are seeking require knowledge of software you donít know, consider taking lessons before listing it on your resume. If youíve submitted your resume online to sites like monster.com or careerbuilder.com your resume has already been electronically imputed into their databases. But what happens if when itís scanned from a paper copy?