Nonetheless, in this connected age where searching the entire Internet, portions of the Internet, or simply a virtual stack of resumes has become routine for employers, there’s perhaps nothing quite as critical as the “keyword.” Keywords are search engine-friendly phrases (e.g. “sales manager,” “accountant,” “senior engineer” or other common terms) that employers might be looking for using a computerized query. Some estimates – and again we’re speaking in general terms here because there is no real consensus – put the percentage of resumes searched via job-specific keywords at upwards of ninety percent. In any case, whether you’re constructing a resume or building a personal or business profile, keywords are, well, key.
Using keywords so that they have the most impact is an inexact science, but a good place to begin is by checking out the job ads in your chosen field. Or, if you get a chance, check out the resumes of other applicants. What you’re looking for here is a pattern. If the same nouns or verbs or even adjectives appear over and over again and are both pertinent to the position you crave and/or descriptive of an ideal candidate or credential, simply copy and use them. If you’re stuck, try a keyword utility such as Google AdWords’ Keyword Tool to hit upon a winning phraseology.
Whatever your final decisions, leave nothing to chance. If, for example, you’re fortunate enough to wield a Bachelor of Science degree and have discovered that such as degree is a highly desirable skill in your intended occupation, do not assume the employer will search specifically for “bachelor of science” when they may search for “B.Sc.” Use both, and toss in a load of “B.S.” as well.
Likewise, make certain you’re dressed to impressed for any interviews which follow as a result, and that your verbal employment history and overall presentation is polished, simple and easy to follow. It should be immediately obvious where your strengths and abilities lie. Similarly, keep commentary only to subjects pertinent to the topic at-hand, be polite and professional when discussing past colleagues and jobs, and try to show how any past experience – even in other fields – is applicable to the position being applied for. Keep negativity and/or personal feelings towards past career events out of the equation as well: Remember, you’re simply there to objectively present the case why you’re the best man or woman for the job.
For more information and suggestions on job hunting tips, interviewing strategies or creating the perfect virtual resume, be sure take a gander at the employment websites we mentioned earlier. Many of them have a wealth of advice pertaining not just to this topic but many others as well. Also be sure to have a look at our guide to job social networking for a peek at how you can get connected with the right people who can make those doors swing open.