Hey, job seeker! We’re thinking right about now you’ve been on every single job board website and submitted your resume multiple times a day – for weeks. In fact, you’ve probably done it so much that you’re wholly familiar with each platform and have specific opinions about each one. With all that work you’re doing, you should be getting paid! Or, at least be bound to find something, but in today’s market you may be focusing that effort in the wrong place. Maybe it’s time to let your resume speak for itself.
If you work in a highly technical field, chances are a lot of companies will want you on their team… and chances are your skills are very particular. Your perfect employer has staff members who spend their 9-5 trying to locate highly skilled people like you. These people are called recruiters and we know all about them. After all, we are them! We are the secret circulatory system of every major corporation. We keep the talent pool within the organization fresh and populating. The thing is, we need to be able to find you – a great candidate – in order for us to do that.
So, how will search engine optimization help with that and, in turn, help you find that perfect position? Let’s break it down.
When a recruiter is searching for candidates, there are literally thousands of resumes to choose from. To find the ones they want, they must search for applicants using keywords associated with the interests of the company they are hiring for.
A recruiter is searching for an Administrative Assistant.
They might search for the following skills which are associated with the duties of that position: Administrative Assistant, Quickbooks, Microsoft Word, Bookkeeping
The people who have these words on their resume the most or for the longest length of employment (For example, you have the skill of “Quickbooks” under a position you held for 3 years) will show up at the top of the recruiters search as the best-fit candidate.
Now, let’s say that you are an Administrative Assistant, but on your resume this is the information you put:
Admin Assistant, Quickbooks, Microsoft Office, Book Keeping
According to the keywords, the only match you have with what the recruiter is looking for is your experience with Quickbooks.
Look closely at that again.
Though only slightly different from the wording listed at the beginning of our example, when a recruiter is searching “Administrative Assistant”, people with “Admin Assistant” on their resume will not show up. The same goes for “Microsoft Word” and “Microsoft Office”, they aren’t the same keyword. Lastly, spelling is of massive importance. A simple mistake of adding “Book Keeping” instead of “Bookkeeping” could have your resume at the bottom of the bunch.
If you want to be at the top of the list for the best jobs in your industry, follow these steps to SEO your resume.
- Edit your resume for the job you are specifically looking for. This is especially true for times when you are submitting a resume to a recruiter. If it’s littered with in-between jobs and positions not specific to your industry, removing them will help the recruiter see where your strengths are.
- Know our job title. While it may be fun to give yourself a silly title, “Office Mom” isn’t actually going to show up when a recruiter searches for an Administrative Assistant. It’s always best to put recognizable titles on your resume to help get you found. If you’re not sure what title to add, you may want to take a look at what other companies call your position. “Receptionist” and “Administrative Assistant” can often times be thought of as the same position, but they are actually quite different from one another. If your current title is “Receptionist”, but you are aiding HR with payroll and other accounting tasks, you may want to ask that employer for permission to put “Administrative Assistant” on your resume instead.
- Be thorough when showcasing your responsibilities. This point goes back to the “Microsoft Word” and “Microsoft Office” example from above. When in doubt, add both to your resume so that when searched, you will come up for either keyword. Similarly, if you find yourself at a loss of words for what you did at your last job, it may be a good idea for you to look at the resumes of people who held similar positions. Also, look at job listings that explain requirements. This will help you to word your responsibilities with industry specific language which will be more SEO friendly.
- Edit, edit, edit. Recruiters look at resumes all day. Don’t waste their time with spelling and grammatical errors. Take your resume seriously. After all, you want the big bucks! Showing attention to detail is a good way to show that you deserve it.
- Update, revise, renew. After you’ve posted your resume on all the relevant job sites (Monster, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Dice, Clearance Jobs, etc) you can’t just leave it there to crush underneath a virtual pile of new resumes. You’ve got to keep yours on top! Every week you need to either upload the same resume or revise and repost your resume. The reason for this is that when a recruiter is searching for candidates, they are going to search for people who have been active in the last week or sooner. That way, they know the people are still looking for work. So, you could have the most perfectly search engine optimized resume, but if it’s not updated, nobody will ever see it.
Of course, you could just stream line this whole process and send us your resume instead! To get started, e-mail your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope these tips help you to SEO your resume and score you that perfect position. For more tips on how to optimize your resume, find jobs and be successful, like us on Facebook or tweet us @JDSjobs.
Thank you to www.flazingo.com for letting us use some of their visual content.