Keywords and other resume tips

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Key words and other resume tips

By Michael Pollock

When you polish up your resume make sure that it includes the keywords that search engine users are looking for.

Allison Hemmings of The Hired Guns says that when she is recruiting, she searches resumes on three main areas: the names of companies you have worked for, common job titles and clients you have worked with. This specific detail is what sorts people out. The names of TV shows you’ve worked on, or brands you’ve been involved with can easily get left as you sort through the thickets of corporate titles and teams, but these can be very important search criteria – make sure the good ones are included.

When a recruiter searches on their select set of terms and say 5 people meet those requirements, then they are probably not going to look further. I was struck by this methodology, which seems very absolute and may not include those “quality” words that can be so effective when someone is then reading the resume. But it can be the specific company names, brands and titles that get the resume read, only then giving you the opportunity to flesh your story out with the innovations and business growth and awards which set you apart and make you unique.

And you shouldn’t drop off the things you did 10 or more years ago if they are relevant to your case. But do take care to frame them in a contemporary context, says Hemmings. Technology and jargon has evolved, but there could still be a core that is utterly relevant to the needs of today’s employers.

The question of resume boards has arisen in this space. Hemmings says there are “some awesome resume boards.” She mentioned The Ladders and ResumeDeli. But she notes, “Just because you have had it professionally written doesn’t mean you can’t change it and keep it up to date.”

Ultimately your resume should do what Hemmings calls “nuggetizing” parts of your background.” It should frame each specific job in your history and tell the reader why she should care what the value is to them. She says, “I recommend three bullet points about why you are the best person in the world who can do this job.”

Michael Pollock is President of Pollock Spark