Archive for September, 2010

How do keywords work in a resume?

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

This is an excellent article written by Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW.

Just How Do Keywords Work In a Resume?

So many people are put off by the idea of writing a resume, and ignore doing it until the absolute last possible minute, many times when it is too late. Using a resume that is written properly will save you a lot of heartache in the end, though—and is worth the time investment. Taking advantage of keywords to write a resume is an excellent idea, particularly if it is done well.

One of the main reasons keywords is such a hot topic is because of company scanning machines. Employers use scanning machines to search for keywords in a candidates resume that match their requirements, weeding out everyone else whose resumes don’t match that.

In the last decade or so, it has become the norm for resumes to be sent out over the internet through search engines—particularly the job hunting search engines. Employers will take advantage of these particular search engines, and feed in the required information for each job posting, and a set of tags. In other words, the tags are the keywords that they are looking for in resumes. These tags not only help the companies, but they help you by permitting you to select categories that you feel fit your skill level better. By knowing what category you picked the job from—operations, finance, sales and marketing—you can re-word your resume using relevant keywords to fit the job description (posting) you are interested in. So, how do you know what keywords to add in a resume?

Make a rough list of what you need to add to your resume. Consider the jobs that are on your resume already. What things do they have in common? Start to think about what words you could conveniently place to attract prospective employers’ attention throughout your resume—words that are part of your past experiences–and relevant to the next position. Previous experience managing a manufacturing company can be turned into a keyword, or two—manufacturing operations or operations executive.

Place the keywords appropriately in your resume. Make the sentence or title that they are in seem natural, yet the placement of the keyword will gain attention, especially in the search engines. Consider a bulleted keyword list under your career summary.  Grabbing the attention of human resource managers or the hiring person is easier if you have a keyword list.

Now that you know how keywords work in a resume, take the time to rework your resume. A little bit of extra effort quite often pays off in the long run—especially when you’re looking for the job of your dreams.

The Basics of Resume Writing

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

I thought I would make my first post about the absolute basics of the construction of a resume.

What is a Resume?

A resume is the first and most important document to be prepared while looking for a job. It is more like a marketing tool for an individual that helps to grab the hiring manager’s attention. This can be compared to product marketing wherein, the most attractive advertisement grabs our attention. In many countries a resume is comparable to a CV (curriculum vitae). However, in some countries like US and Canada a CV is detailed and used in the medical or educational field whereas a resume is used for a job.

How to Prepare a Good Resume?

The art of resume writing has evolved from a dull and long document to an impressive and precise one. Amongst the pile of resumes, each resume gets around 10-30 seconds screening time. A good resume must be concise and not exceed more than two pages. The most effective formats for resume writing are – chronological, functional or a combination of both.

The chronological format is mainly used for those who already have a good work experience in a particular field and are applying for a job in the same field. In such a format, the first page usually contains sections like job objective, educational background, skills and other relevant information that adds to the job nature including certifications, workshops etc. The second page contains a chronological order listing of work history with the most recent one appearing first. Such kind of reverse chronological format helps to highlight credibility built through gained experience, illustrating career growth.

The functional format is ideal for those who had career gaps, starting a new career or those who would like to shift work fields. A functional format is useful in asserting skills that are specific to the job that is being sought after.

The combination format has a list of functional capabilities followed by a chronological list of work history. This often becomes repetitive and long and so is not widely used.

For all formats, it is important to keep the resume short containing a clear objective with lots of keywords relevant to the job.