How To Keyword Optimize Your ResumeJustin Olsen, CPRW
Are you being told by recruiters that your resume lacks the necessary skills that employers are looking for? This could be the result of probably the most common issue with resumes today – not including the right wording to make the document keyword optimized for better performance.
Keywords in a resume play a vital role in getting you noticed by both the human eye and Applicant Tracking System (ATS) databases that parse your documents and sniff out the specific phrases that are related to their job requirements. There are also certain bad words that should not be used on resumes, but we will cover that later. Similar to a business making sure its website content contains the right keyword phrases for search engine optimization purposes so that it is properly indexed by Google and Bing/Yahoo, a resume must also include a variety of word combinations which will position the document among or above the top-rated resumes in the ATS for a given job posting. This might seem like a foreign subject for most because the old way of writing a resume has evolved into a much more technologically advanced process, but it is doable if you possess the know-how.
The format of a resume also plays a huge role in how easily noticeable these keyword phrases should be. You should always have a short but powerful message at the top of your resume that contains all of the most important keywords that apply to your industry – even if it seems like jargon. In certain situations it is important to include a more generic list of keywords. However, for the most part you must really hone in on conveying the keywords that make you stand out as a candidate over others who are applying for the same types of positions.
Including certain skills which are relevant to a job posting is how to optimize your resume for keywords found in the backend of an ATS (applicant tracking system). When you come across a job posting, you must read the requirements of the job and be able to identify certain phrases within the body of that job announcement that might trigger a response to your resume. The way these systems work is they scan your resume for certain skills against the skills found in the job posting.
This is not always an easy task since your background might not necessarily reflect the skills found in the posting. You must find a way to transform your skill set so that it is closely related to the required skills of the job. For example: if you are a nurse practitioner looking for a medical device sales job, you could phrase your skills to align with the medical device industry such as “educating physicians on the use of medical equipment” to trigger an ATS response.
Overall, having your resume keyword optimized is imperative to your job search success when sending out your documents. Remember to keep the document as concise as possible and avoid any potential negative keyword phrases that could instantly eliminate you from selection. To find out more, visit our page on job match rate.