Tag Archives: Resume writer

Keywords in Résumé Lead to Interviews

free_2964505Eighty percent of all submitted résumés (and 100 percent of résumés sent to Fortune 1000 companies) get scanned by software commonly known as an applicant-tracking system (ATS), and such scanned résumés are stored on a server in a digitized format. Humans are seeing your résumé only if it resurfaces based on a query. That’s why most job applicants don’t receive responses from companies after submitting résumés. Therefore, in order to increase your résumé’s chances of being at least viewed by a human–even if it’s not thereafter considered suitable–you have to understand the process and beat them at their own game.

Human resources departments that use ATSs base their queries on keywords they lift from job descriptions or receive verbally from hiring managers. Based on that information, the ATS extracts appropriate résumés from the ones on file. The human resources employee’s query may result in just a few résumés or a vast number. The ATS also scores those résumés and sorts and prioritizes them. Then the employee reviews, say, 20 and submits 5 to be interviewed.

Your job is to ensure that you embed sufficient keywords in your résumé. So, what’s the best way to find those magical keywords? It’s a simple, albeit somewhat tedious, exercise.

1. Search the Internet via job boards such as Monster and The Ladders.com to find 5 to 20 job descriptions of jobs advertised in the field you’re interested in.

2. Cut and paste all of the descriptions one after another into a new Word document.

3. Review the document, resetting in boldface what you consider the keywords throughout.

4. Delete everything except the boldface words.

5. Alphabetize the words, and delete duplicates.

6. Copy your résumé into a new Word document, and repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 on that copy.

The two resulting lists will display which keywords from the descriptions are missing from your résumé. And now comes the creative part: you incorporate the missing keywords into your résumé so it seems seamless and a perfect match for the context in which the words are mentioned in the job descriptions.

By doing this admittedly laborious task, you increase manyfold your chances of being picked out from the crowd.



Résumé + Interview = A Job

Getty photo

Getty photo

The formula expressed in the title sounds so simple yet for some is difficult to achieve. So let’s together demystify the two elements for getting a job offer.

The Résumé

Because of the enormously large pool of job applicants nowadays, even a very good résumé may not get singled out when compared with the many outstanding résumés. It’s a competition for sure, and only, say, five résumés might be considered for invitations to face-to-face interviews. So, how does one put together an excellent résumé? That depends: if you have good writing skills, you can draft a résumé and then have some people whose proficiency and judgment you trust review and edit it for you until it becomes excellent. Consult career coaches, human resources professionals, or recruiters. Hopefully, you’ve developed good relationships with such people, who will agree to help by expressing their opinions.

If you are not skilled with language, I suggest you seek a professional résumé writer who has performed work for others and brought them success. This is a good investment, since otherwise, you’re merely spreading around a noncompetitive résumé that brings no action–and you will never find out why. Many people fall into that trap, and they therefore lose time and of course the opportunity to make money. So, how does one know whether one’s résumé is excellent? The answer is very simple: Excellent résumés get action. The rest don’t–or do only very rarely.

The Interview

Congratulations! Your résumé was attractive and intriguing enough to persuade a hiring manager to want a conversation with you in order to explore your candidacy for an opening, competitively with a few others. Now the real competition starts. All of those who have been invited to interview stood out too and could potentially take the job, meaning that they have the skills for it. But the hiring manager has another need to satisfy–and that is whether you fit and will be committed to the company. Ascertaining whether you fit is very much psychological on the part of the hiring manager, who is asking himself whether your future peers would accept you, whether you and he are aligned ideologically, whether his own boss would consider you a good hire, and whether you represent a promising investment. And there are other, similar questions, whose answers can be rather subjective.

The hiring manager’s final area of vital interest has to do with whether you seem committed to the job. He wants to ensure (1) that you have potential for growth within the company, (2) that you won’t move to a competitor if the company goes through some difficult times and someone else is offering you a fraction more compensation, and (3) that you deliberately targeted this company as an employer.

If you can convince the hiring manager that you’re the right choice, if you answer questions properly, and if you project positivity and energy, your chances for getting an offer are good. Good luck on your next job. Feel good about yourself. You deserve it.