Misuse of Keywords in Resume Writing
Keywords in resumes may be job specific skills, technological terms, technical expertise, job titles, certifications, names of products and services, industry buzzwords and jargon or a type of degree. Companies use software that identifies keywords in your resume that relate to a specific position’s requirements. For several years job applicants were selected from a pool of applicants to be interviewed based on the number of keywords for the position that appeared in their resume and how often they appeared. While it seems like a logical way to narrow a large pool of applicants, the use of keywords for resume selection soon became common knowledge, resulting in job candidates stuffing their resumes with keywords and an over abundance of keyword loaded resumes that said little about whether or not an applicant was qualified for the position.
Appropriate Use of Keywords in Resume Selection
Employers and recruiter are aware of job applicants trying to manipulate the system through keyword stuffing. Selection of applicants based on which applicant has the most keywords in their resume is no longer a given. Some changes have been made to how keywords are used in resume selection including:
- Keywords must be used in the correct context – Just having a lot of keywords doesn’t do the trick if they aren’t used naturally within the text of your resume.
- Keyword synonyms – There are some keywords that have synonyms and acronyms that those in the industry commonly use. These synonyms and acronyms are also searched, with the theory being those more familiar with the industry won’t continually use the same keyword over and over.
- Excessive keyword use penalized – The excessive use of keywords for resumes that may indicate keyword stuffing is now penalized by some companies. Rather than moving a resume to the top of a pool of applicants, it may now see a drop in its placement.
Companies still use searchable keywords to some extent but depend on them less. Some manipulation of the system through keywords is still possible, but much more difficult to do, and the effort spent would be put to better use elsewhere. If you want to boost your chances of getting hired, you might want to try creating a video resume.
While the average length of an interview is 40 minutes, 33% of 2000 surveyed bosses indicated they know within the first 90 seconds if they will hire that candidate. (According to business2community.com)
Keyword Advice for Job Applicants
For the near future at least, keywords in resume selection will continue to be a factor, although current trends are away from using keywords as a basis for resume selection. Some things job seekers need to keep in mind about keywords include:
- Write your resume naturally. Trying to fit too many keywords in may result in a penalty. With less weight being placed on keywords it isn’t worth it.
- Buzz phrases are not key words. “Track record of success” and “Go-to person” says nothing about your ability to do a job.
- Forget about manipulating the system. Concentrate on providing a well written and straightforward resume 2015-2016 that shows the value that you bring to a company, and use keywords judiciously.
Follow our tips and write the best resume! Use keywords in resume proper and get better results!
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