In the world of online job boards, social networks, and
electronic job applications- how can you make yourself standout?
The answer is keywords keywords keywords. This is how it works - a
recruiter or HR logs onto their computer or a job board to find
hundreds of resumes and job applicants, they then do keyword
searches to narrow down their choices before reviewing any resumes
or applications. You could be out of the running before the race
Keywords are essential to a successfully navigating your job search on the
web. Resumes and applications are constantly being scanned for
words keywords that describe relevant skills, education,
certifications, and/or performance related actions that are
necessary for the job that has been posted. So just like a race car
driver needs to have qualifying times and sponsors to enter a race,
you need to have the skill set and keywords to enter the job search
race. Your skills, experience, certifications, and education are
your qualifying times and the keywords are your sponsors. Whether
you are allowed to enter the race depends upon on your
qualifications and keywords.
Good sponsors/keywords are easy to find, just start with the job
description and/or required skills. Most likely a search would be
conducted using relevant words or synonyms from the job
description. For example:
- Self starter/self motivator who has strong verbal
communication and written skills, currently calling on senior level
executives as well as technical buyers. Strong knowledge of
technology industry products, and services. Strong organizational
and planning, teamwork and customer support skills critical.
Ability to operate remotely and/or travel 50% of the time.
Bachelor's degree, MBA preferred 8 + years of sales and 4+ years of
related, industry or segment experience. Proven track record
exceeding sales quota selling business solutions with expertise in
negotiating and closing. Proven selling ability in previous job
To maximize resume keyword power, the correct set of resume keywords should
be included in your cover letter, resume, follow-up
correspondences, and profile. Some keywords, from the highlighted
words in the job description: new business development,
organizational development, sales contracts, client relationship
management, strategic planning, marketing, problem solver, outside
sales, service/product presentations, sales closings, MBA or
Bachelors, certifications you may have, and technical examples.
These are just a few keywords that can be used from our example.
Your sponsors/keywords should be used with action verbs, such as,
negotiated sales contracts with senior executives, generated an
additional $1M in new business, or exceeded 2007 sales quota by
It is also important that your actual skills and experiences are
aligned with the job description; misrepresenting yourself will
only lead to disqualification. Now that you have the qualifying
times and sponsors you are ready to start the race. Job seekers start
Author: Michelle Wright