Visium’s recruiters often advise the job seekers that we work with that one of the most important elements of preparing your resume is to ensure all the right keywords were contained somewhere in the document so that it would come up in a relevant database or applicant tracking system search.
The notion of keywords and the constant fear that you might have overlooked one, or more, that could be important to your success, can sometimes turn into a crippling paralysis. Without question, saturating your materials with relevant terminology is crucial in finding work today. Showing your fluency with the right keywords and jargon goes a long way toward underscoring your credibility. If an employer sees you comfortably throwing around up-to-date language in your field, it suggests that you’re plugged in and pretty up to date in what you do — and haven’t let your skills lapse.
In fact, we often find competency keywords to be MORE reliable than job titles today in turning up relevant opportunities for people. For example, If Visium is looking for somebody who is skilled in desktop support; companies might slap all kinds of crazy labels such as “Desktop Analyst” or “IT Technician” or “Help Desk Ninja” on a given position, at the end of the day, they all share a common denominator. Search on the simple phrase “desktop support” and each one of these jobs pops right up, awaiting further investigation.
When you consider the use of keywords, there are some sources that you can potentially use to ensure you have not missed a single acronym, buzzword, or snippet of jargon that might help you improve your career prospects:
- Go on LinkedIn, search for people in professions similar to your own, and study the language they’ve used throughout their profile; if they come up high in the search rankings, that usually means they have done a good job of saturating their profile with the right keywords and there may be numerous terms you can… “borrow” from them!
- Do the same thing in the free resume database you’ll find on Indeed.com; review many resumes of similar candidates in your field and see if they contain any useful language you might have overlooked; you might even take advantage of the free “trends” tool at the bottom of Indeed to see which keywords are gaining steam faster than others,
- Also, scan a sampling of published job advertisements in your field to see what employers are asking for in terms of requirements and qualifications; right or wrong, they get to call the shots about the skill sets they feel are important to them, so make sure you match your resume closely to the exact vocabulary employers and recruiters use in their posts.
- Engage in a regular reading regimen of books, blogs, and trade publications related to your field or profession, keeping your eyes peeled for new language or emerging terminology that might be making its way onto the scene.
At the end of the day, keywords are such an easy thing to overlook, but it’s a piece of cake to pin them down if you just do a little research. You never know when you might have overlooked a term that could have significant consequences for your success rate. Pay attention, and don’t take anything for granted. Do a little homework!
And, if all of this preparation seems a little intense to you, check our open job postings. If any of these jobs look appealing to you, one of our talented recruiters can help to make sure your resume is in tip-top shape when applying!