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Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to Optimize your Resume and Attract the Attention of Recruiters

You're on the hunt for a new job. Maybe you're actively looking because your company just went through a round of layoffs. Perhaps you’re passively perusing to see what opportunities you're missing out on. You've uploaded your resume to CareerBuilder, Monster, and LinkedIn and applied to a few job openings at various companies (maybe even the one you’re at now), but the phone just isn't ringing. It’s time to revamp your resume, my friend.

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.

Include a Professional Profile section
  • 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.

Include a Skills section
  • 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.

Use industry key words, phrases, acronyms, and abbreviations
  • This will increase the odds of your resume appearing in recruiter searches.

Include an Education section
  • Mention all of your education, even if it is incomplete, ongoing, or not for credit.

Don’t forget your contact information
  • 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?

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  2. This is really an interesting topic. Congratulations to the writer. I'm sure a lot of readers having fun reading your post. Hoping to read more post from you in the future. Thank you and God bless!