“I’m invisible online,” said Joe, 57, a director at a large tech company. “After I send my resume in using my computer no one is calling me for an interview. I suspect they either notice my age and decide that they don’t want somebody as old as me, or I don’t have the resume written correctly. The bottomline is that no employer is calling me. What am I doing wrong? Can you help me improve my resume and get discovered,” he asked.
One of the problems when you submit your resume online is that you don’t realize the importance of keywords and how they affect your resume’s performance in getting found. The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that you incorporate into your resume is what the electronic robots are searching. They find what the recruiter requested or they don’t. In Joe’s case, they aren’t finding him at all. I took a look at his resume and realized the problem. He doesn’t understand about how to use SEO strategies to get found.
There are many mistakes that Baby Boomers make on their resumes that can prevent them from being discovered by a recruiter. How this all works is that the recruiter or hiring manager types in some specific words that he or she is looking for in the candidate. Typically these are things like job titles, specific work tasks or skills that are needed to do the job. The typical recruiter has over 100 resumes to search through. Often times for large companies and Fortune 500 organizations there can be hundreds of resumes that are received for every one job posted. All the initial search and streamlining of those applicants is done electronically. This allows the employer to shrink the applicant pool down to 10-20, a more manageable amount to search and review.
Unfortunately one of the biggest complaints recruiters make is there are many people out there applying for jobs that they are not qualified for. That makes this whole process more challenging for everybody.
Here is some advice that will help you when you’re trying to create your own SEO to optimize your resume so that it can be found more easily by employers.
Be Technology Ready. Most companies use employment software to handle the application process. It’s called ATS, or applicant tracking software, and is used by the employer when you apply online. The system often cannot read: text boxes, tables, color ink, photos, or see any graphics. These could be eliminated from your resume and the space is left blank for the recruiter so they miss these things you were trying to stress. You want to eliminate these obstacles from your resume. A clean resume that is easy to read is essential to get through the system.
Target the Job Title. Employers hire for a specific job. You need to make sure that the job title that you have and/or the career objective states the name of the job you’re looking for. For example, Career Objective: Nonprofit Executive Director.
Outline Work History using Keywords. When defining your work experience outline the major job duties that you have had in that position. It is important that the first sentence captures the most important work tasks you have performed. This is because these are some of the keywords that a recruiter is likely to use when searching through the applicant pool. Be sure to address your skills and abilities to fit the exact position you are applying for. Do not generalize. You need to include the essential experience that’s necessary for performing that position.
Stress Results. Results get attention! List your specific accomplishments. Note your actions on your job and what was the outcome of your work. List your innovations and new things you have developed and implemented. Did you save time or money? Did you make money? Have you created something new? Did you improve something? These are the kinds of results that employers want to know about.
Create a Summary of Qualifications. This consists of four to six sentences that highlight your key experience, strengths and top accomplishments. This is often the first part of any resume read. It needs to be strongly persuasive and you can outline top skills here.
Do not create a list of competencies
One error that many people make is they create a list of competencies or skills and put them across the page in tables. This is an ineffective way to get your keywords across. All keywords need to be involved in sentences and part of your accomplishments that you’re talking about in your work experience section.
Project management Supervisor Manager
Organizational Development Human Resources Employee Benefits
Employee Relations Contract Management Compensation
Use the words in sentences that demonstrate the skill. Example:
· Managed the human resources department employee benefits area negotiating contracts with better terms and lower fees.
Repeat Key Skills
As you create the resume you might use the words that foster the skill you want to emphasize. For example, you could mention project management three or four times throughout the resume. That keyword will be one that the algorithms notices first. That works if you’re looking for a job in which you need to use the skill of project management or if you’re looking for a job as a project manager. Keep in mind that you want to be addressing the skills for the job you’re going after so if it’s a promotion make sure you stress the skills that you have used the most that fill the need stated in that promotion job ad.
SEO when understood is not that hard to incorporate into your resume so you will be found and called in for an interview, the sole goal of your resume.