Resume Keywords

by Tracy Laswell, CPRW, JCTC –

More than ever before, a job seeker’s resume must be carefully composed to appeal to applicant tracking systems, recruiters, and hiring managers.

Each word on the page should support your specific career objective. And it better be all about benefits of hiring you: most the content needs to prove your worth and demonstrate the kinds of results you will bring to your next employer. Features (for example, 20 years of progressive experience) can’t sell like specific benefits (improved profitability by 25% in 2014).

I challenge you to read your current resume, line by line, and ask yourself with the question “so what?” at the end of each sentence. Ask yourself whether a statement can that be expressed as a specific quantifiable contribution to the company’s bottom line. It can be difficult, and at times you will have to estimate, but the more you are able to assess your value to a company, you will be more likely to win and retain a rewarding position.

Relevance: Be sure all the points in your resume are truly relevant to your current objective? Some of your background may be in a completely unrelated industry, and some may be “ancient history.”  Consider removing any information that instead of better qualifying you, could be used to weed you out. That would include irrelevant qualifications, whether educational or experiential. The competition today is nothing less than fierce. Recruiters are charged with finding the exceptional fit, the amazing value candidate, and a one-size-fits-all resume simply cannot convey the right stuff. It is also important to realize that “more” experience may not be seen as “better” – you are likely to be perceived as older, more expensive, or just “overqualified.”

Tailoring. The right stuff may be in there, but is it translated to the words the employer is using? Each resume you send for a specific opportunity needs to be tailored so that the recruiter can see exactly those qualifications being sought. This can be done in a number of ways throughout the resume but the introductory section of your resume should say it all – fluently, persuasively, in the language of the specific employer.

CAREER-Magic offers free resume critiques via our contact page as well as cost-effective resume editing and complete development services. The right resume can pay for itself many times over by shortening the search and giving you leverage to negotiate the best offer. Call 303-424-1700 or email us today for more information.