Most companies use applicant tracking systems that allow them to search their database by keyword or by doing a Boolean search. Recruiters also use these techniques to search for candidates on LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, and other websites. It is critical that your resume be Search Engine Optimized (SEO). There are 6 easy steps that you can follow to optimize your resume and attract the attention of recruiters.
Keep the format simple
- Use Arial or Calibri for your font. These are the fonts that are recognized by most applicant tracking systems.
- Avoid using headers, footers, or text boxes.
- Use black font.
- Many recruiters will not read your cover letter (note: this does not mean that you should not include a cover letter!).
- This is your opportunity to succinctly tell recruiters why you are awesome, explain how you add value to the company, and mention some of your accomplishments.
- Keep it under 4 sentences.
- Place this section towards the top of your resume.
- For an example, check on the Summary section on my LinkedIn profile.
- Your resume will now be more likely to appear if recruiters are searching for a specific skill-set.
- List 10 skills or less.
- Organize your skills alphabetically or by category.
- Make this the last section on your resume.
- This will increase the odds of your resume appearing in recruiter searches.
- Mention all of your education, even if it is incomplete, ongoing, or not for credit.
- You would be surprised at how many strong candidates submit their resumes with no phone number or email address.
- Include your name, street address, preferred phone number, and email address.
- Some people don’t like to include their street address. It’s important to keep in mind that applicant tracking systems also let recruiters search by distance from the primary office location. If there is no street address on your resume then it will not show up in the search.
Do you know someone who is searching for a job but isn’t getting any calls from recruiters? Why not share this with them?