When you search for something in Google or other search engines by typing in a keyword, you expect to find quality results based on your query such as finding whatever it is you’re looking for in your local area. How this works is actually a very scientific process on the back-end, but to us users of the World Wide Web, the results we see appear to make the process seem very simple. You search for a word or phrase and SHAZAM!!! The search engine read your mind and gave you exactly what you were looking for! However, that is hardly the case. You see, companies like Google develop extensive strings of computer code to produce a complex algorithm (a process to be followed in calculating a result) that matches a person’s search query to a document/webpage that contains the same keyword phrases they search for. They do this in many different ways such as using photography and satellite imagery in their Google Maps program to make sure anyone searching for “Accounting Jobs” finds a list of local companies that might be hiring. The computer program then displays a list of results to the end-user showing pictures of the local businesses related to their search query, along with complete driving directions.
This same concept applies when a recruiter or hiring manager searches the internet or an applicant tracking system for job candidate resumes by typing certain keywords into a search box such as “Accountant with 10 Years Experience”. Some of these keyword phrases might include job titles, industry jargon, or specific skills that an ideal candidate would possess. If your resume doesn’t include the particular words the recruiter or hiring manager is searching for, your resume might never get noticed and be forever lost in Cyberspace.
Common Reasons Why Your Resume is Lost in Cyberspace:
1. Industry-specific phrases are being neglected or not written correctly. Keep in mind that the same way you search for a product or service in Google (as short of a phrase as you can think of to produce a result), the person searching for qualified candidates also does not want to type in an entire sentence to conduct a search. They will use very short phrases, generally one to four words. This is where it gets tricky. One must know how to properly convey the exact terms that are widely used in these computer systems to know whether or not their resume will return a result to the HR department handling the candidate screening process.
2. Keyword density is too low or too high. This can mean you either have certain keywords included too few or too many times throughout the document. These can be exact-match words or similar phrases that read differently but create the same message to the reader. Luckily, search engines and ATS have significantly evolved into intelligent machines that comprehend synonyms. Both can also detect the amount of times a particular term or synonym is written on a webpage or document and uses that calculation as one of the determining factors to generate a result.
3. The prominence of certain words or phrases. Believe it or not, this plays a huge part in how the document is screened through today’s database systems. By highlighting the most important keywords first or close to the top, you are letting the search engine bots know what your resume is prominently about – thus displaying your document more times and higher than others that give a result based on the search terms.
Many applicant tracking systems use a grading method which will place a candidate’s resume above their competitors’ based on which words are utilized, how many times they are included, and how prominently they are displayed on the first page. If you have at least one of these reasons to blame for your resume not getting noticed, you should consider using Careers Plus Resumes to help bring your resume out of the dark hole it’s been hiding in. Cyberspace is a deep and mysterious place – and with the hiring process taking a huge turn toward online recruiting in recent years, making sure your resume can be found when an employer conducts a search is vital to your success.