Before filling new positions, hiring managers will search their own internal databases and employment websites for candidates. Often, managers will do a database search for resumes before trying to place an advertisement.
With employers spending more time reviewing information online, job seekers need to understand how to market their resumes. Your resume will attract hiring managers if it has relevant keywords, is current, and visible in high traffic areas.
While visiting Google, MSN, Yahoo or any number of search engines, many of us have searched by keyword. Now, the question is “How do you get your resume noticed when an employer is searching a site like BCjobs.ca, Monster or Workopolis?”
The same hiring managers and recruiters who write job descriptions online are searching these sites to find candidates. Research job descriptions that fit your experience and interest to create a list of commonly used words, industry jargon or phrases. Once you are familiar with the most likely search terms used for the careers you want, make sure they are in your resume. When preparing your keyword list, keep in mind acronyms used in place of the full word. For example, one recruiter might search for database administrator while another will search for dba. Using both forms will increase your chances of showing in the search results.
Examples of keywords:
business development, engineering, accounting, administration, carpenter, software developer, network administrator, Microsoft office, customer service, human resources, HR, construction, .NET, IT, Information Technology.
Keep your Information Current
Employers will not only search for resumes by keyword. They will also search by the date the resume was created or modified. They do this because they want their search to return current resumes from candidates who are still actively looking for employment.
To have your resume viewed by possible employers, keep it current. If you learn a new skill, update your resume. If you find that your resume is not being noticed, revise it. When you update or refresh your resume, it tells the system that you are still active and your resume will appear in a list of current candidates.
Maximize your Exposure
Post your resume on all the major career sites. Not all employers advertise or search in the same place. Employers have to pay to post jobs and search for resumes; they will often only have access to a few employment sites. If you’re a job seeker, almost all of these sites are free and placing your resume on all of them will greatly increase your exposure and potential for success.
Do you have a list of companies for whom you would like to work? Be sure to submit your resume directly to the companies you are targeting. If their website offers resume submission, employers will search the candidates that have applied to their site. Even if they do not feel you are right for a particular position, they may want you in another role.
First impressions are lasting. Just like when you are interviewed in person, the presentation, outline and accuracy of your resume will form the hiring manager’s first impression. Points to consider:
- hotmamajama@ might be a funny e-mail address, but when it’s on an applicant’s resume submission, it gets filed in the deleted folder. If your email address is not professional, create a separate address to list on your resume and to submit applications. Keep it simple; use your first and last name with a dot in between. Example: john.smith
- There is no excuse for spelling errors. Spell check it, have it reviewed, spell check it again. Many systems do not provide spell checkers, but this is no excuse for having errors in the online version of your resume. Copy a draft of your online resume into Microsoft Word and check the spelling before submitting your final version.
Searching for employment is never easy, but the more proactive you are, the more likely you are to find a job you love. Try combining traditional methods of finding career opportunities with an online component to increase your exposure and maximize your potential.
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