Techno Danceing Resumes
Posted February 13, 2010on:
Not long ago, before I graduated from Arizona State University, I did what every career coach told me to: I applied for jobs and went to career fairs. All the recruiters told me to do the same thing–go online and apply on the company job page. How well did that turn out?
It didn’t. None of those folks hired me. And here’s why I think they didn’t.
I didn’t use key words. After doing a bit of research and haunting recruiter blogs and job search pages, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you don’t have a special resume for each job you apply for, chocked full of specific key words, you aren’t really applying for the job. You’re just filling out a form. I filled out forms. Don’t be like me.
Here’s how you do it: When you sit down to rework your resume for a specific post, take a good look at the job description. If the job description says, “balancing the department budget,” include a bullet someplace where it would fit in that has the word “budgeting.” If you’re applying for an accountant position, put the word, “accountant,” in the resume in multiple places. Try and think what you would put into a database search if you were an HR manager trying to find good ______________ (accountants, marketers, printers, receptionists, hair dressers…. etc).
That said, please oh please realize that eventually a human being will see that resume and read it. If the machine chugs it out as a “perfect” candidate because of all those key words, but in order to get all those key words in there you had to write nonsense sentences… you’re probably still not going to get the job. The human being has to like the resume just as much as the computer, if not more.
So write that special resume for each job you apply for, just like how you write a special cover letter for each job description (please tell me you do that!). It really does help.