CXO

Increase the visibility of your resume with keywords

Have you been submitting resumes and not hearing back? A piece on dice.com suggests it may not be your lack of qualifications but more of a lack of keywords.

Keywords are phrases that communicate your job skills, responsibilities, and/or functions. The more you reference keywords that are contained in the recruiter's search, the more likely you'll get calls. Here's some advice from dice.com:

First, be aware that keywords are best when they refer to hard skills. In other words, "network engineer" and "Help Desk agent" are likely to get more direct attention than "team player" or "multi-tasker."

The physical location of keywords is also important. Dice says, "Providing a summary of keywords at the conclusion of your resume is an effective way to assure that your resume is selected during database searches. However, to help move you to the interviewing stage, list your keywords near the top." Deborah Walker, a certified career coach and president of Alpha Advantage in Portland, Oregon, suggests including keywords in the top four to five inches of your resume because the recruiter won't look beyond that when quickly reviewing a batch of candidate resumes.

And another little tip from the same article: If you're changing careers and don't have the relevant experience yet that would allow you to incorporate the keywords, you can include an "objective" that includes a list of skills you want to develop. That way, your resume will come up in keyword searches.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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