In today’s world of job searching, the digital age is here to stay. Most of the job seeking process is conducted online and the past methods of face-to-face interaction have drastically declined. Now, instead of a smile and a handshake, your resume must act as an electronic representation of you – it’s your best opportunity to capture the hiring manager and compel them to call you.
Sharing your relevant work history, educational background, and brief summary of your achievements and experience will always be foundational resume must-haves. However, since hiring managers are using more digital tools to evaluate piles of resumes for the best fit, job seekers must also include another key element on their resumes to be flagged by hiring managers. To stand out from the crowd, you need to speak the language of the company and hiring team. Your resume needs to be tailored to the job you are trying to land, and you should include strong keywords that correlate to the experience the hiring team is seeking.
Have you ever been fishing? When you go fishing for that big fish, you want to know what that fish likes to eat so you can set your hook correctly. Now, imagine that fish is a hiring manager—instead of searching for your hook with the worm or minnow, this fish is searching for specific keywords! When it comes to the job hunting process, including the right language and skillsets are essential to demonstrate your experiences and highlight what you have accomplished. Just like a worm or minnow, keywords are what initially catch the eye and draw in the hiring managers in to take a bite.
Thankfully for job seekers, there is already a very specific guide to finding the exact keywords those big fish are looking for: they’re right inside the job description of the position you are seeking. The list of duties, desired experience, and responsibilities are filled with the keywords and specific skills that the hiring manager is seeking out. Those are the words and phrases you’ll want to include in your resume. This will set your resume up to catch the hiring manager’s eye to spend time reading and learning more about what you can offer their company.
Take a look at this sample job description with a few keywords highlighted:
More and more recruiters are relying on sophisticated software to vet job applications and resumes to identify skilled candidates. When you send your resume out into the vast internet world, make sure your resume can be detected as a match. Just like SEO, the best way to be identified as a match is to leverage keywords. Once your resume is discovered and a hiring manager sees that you’re a good fit for the role, they’re hooked. Then it’s your turn to wow them in an interview by convincing them how amazing you are and how you can bring value to their team.
When it comes to the job searching process, remember nothing is black and white! There will be exceptions. Ask your recruiter if they have any advice to help you tailor your resume to the exact position you are looking for.