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Monday, May 23, 2005

HOW TO: Add keywords to your resume (and be slick about it!)

Someone asked me an interesting question recently, "I want to add as many keywords to my resume as possible. By doing that, I am assured that my resume will be picked up out of a database or found online. Still, I don't want to be obvious about it so I color all of my extra keywords - white. All that to say, how many keywords is too much?"

My answer?

As a recruiter, I see this a lot. People have been adding extra keywords and too many keywords to their resumes (at least) since 2002. Does it work? Yes, too a fault. It does increase your chances of your resume being found, but it also increases your chances of being found too much. For example, if I search for a Software Engineer and later look for a PublicRelations Specialist; your resume should not pop up for both of these queries. However, on many occassions it does. You know what happens next? (One of three things...)

  1. I scroll through your resume and find a long list of keywords in white, delete them and resave the resume.
  2. I begin to ignore your resume everytime I see it because I figure there are too many keywords in it to be relevant.
  3. Or worse yet, I simply delete it.

All that to say, don't add a long list of irrelevant keywords in white to your resume!

"But how can I increase the chances of my resume being seen without doing that?" you say.

Glad you asked (wink), allow me to show you a little trick a birdie flew my way. It will enable you to add several keywords to your resume, increase the chances of your resume being found online and not offend recruiters (mostly because they won't know its there.) All you need to proceed is your resume formatted in Microsoft Word. Oh, you already have that? Well, you are ready to proceed.

Adding keywords to  your resume without being obvious about it.

Step 1: Go to "File" and then choose "Properties" as shown above. (If the picture is too small for you, click on it to see a larger version.)

How to add keywords to your resume, without being obvious about it

Step 2: When the small window pops up, choose the "Summary" tab. (I'm pointing to it above.)

How to add keywords to your resume without bewing obvious about it.

Step 3: Now add in all the information you like, just so long as its relevant.

Please note, the too many keywords rule still applies. I would advise that you use the same terms I have listed in the "Title" section. On the "Hyperlink base," I suggest that you add the address to your homepage or blog (if you have one).

What now? Upload your newly formatted resume to the internet (your homepage would be perfect), submit to Career Websites that accept Word resumes (like Monster) and/or send to recruiters who will keep your resume in their resume database.

Good luck in your job search!

Comments:
I linked to this one.
 
Any idea how to do this for PDF files?

I've found that Word often screws up the formatting depending on the machine the person who opens it is on...

Thanks.
 
Post a Comment

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