Resume Hints From TheLadders.com

Posted by at 2:21 pm on March 20, 2009

TheLadders.com, an online platform for the $100K+ job market, tapped certified professional resume writers, Kristen Jacoway and Stephen Van Vreede, to outline their best practices for using keywords to maximize resume response rates.

Tips for Optimizing Your Resume with Keywords

  • Crack the Code of the Job Posting -“ The job posting is a window into the algorithm recruiters are using to screen candidates. In most cases, the same recruiter who wrote the job posting also selected the keywords for the scanning software. Look closely at the buzz words used in the posting and job description and make sure those words are used in your resume.
  • Get Your Keywords in Early -“ After your resume has been scanned for keywords by the scanning software, it then must get past the visual inspection of the recruiter. The recruiter is only going to spend a few seconds matching up keywords in your resume to those in the job posting. So, make sure you build a section at the top of the resume, right before Professional Experience called Areas of Expertise or Core Competencies. This is where you will include keywords to support your candidacy for the position.
  • Place Keywords in Order of Priority -“ Keywords should be listed in order of priority based on the position you are pursuing. For example, if you are pursuing a position in project management, list terms like “lifecycle project management” and “team leadership” before a less important term like “training.”
  • Specialize -“ Keywords should be limited and they should be edited for each specific position to which you are applying. It is important that the keywords reflect both your strengths and the needs of the employer. Going overboard by listing too many keywords gives the impression that you do not specialize in one area and that your job search is not focused enough.

“Job seekers need to always remember that no matter how much experience they have; no matter how perfect they’d be for a job, their resumes need to get past the HR team before the hiring executive will even see them,” said Stephen Van Vreede, Certified Professional Resume Writer. “Today, that means getting past a computerized filter and a ten-second skim by a recruiter or HR manager; it is critical that your strengths literally leap off the page during those initial phases.”

“Too few job seekers make full use of the job posting as one of the most important tools of the job search,” said Kristen Jacoway, Certified Professional Resume Writer. “Thoroughly reviewing the job posting will give you a wealth of information -“ including keywords -“ that will help you stand apart from the competition.” She added, “Keywords in a resume are similar to search optimization strategies for websites. It is very important to include keywords in your resume to help increase the odds of having your resume reviewed.”

Since TheLadders.com launched its Resume Service in 2006, a team of executive resume writers, who have been certified by at least one of the national resume writing associations, have written more than 25,000 executive resumes for its members. Additionally, Wendy Enelow, author of 30+ books on executive resume writing, cover letters and interviewing, provides these resume writers with ongoing training and guidance on marketing the executive level candidate.

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