You want your resume to move past applicant tracking systems and land in front of the decision makers who will hire you for your dream job. To do so, it’s critical to fine-tune your copy and make use of important keywords. This will optimize your resume for ATSs and other systems so it stands out among the competition.
Optimizing your resume sounds difficult, but it’s really not. These 10 quick tips will help you create alluring copy that can’t be ignored.
1. Use job description language
Look at the words and phrases in the job description and use those exact words in your resume. Recruiters and the ATS are searching for industry terminology and professional verbiage.
2. Detail your skills section
Your skills section is a perfect place to integrate keyword language. Add things like certifications, computer program proficiency, strengths and other important skills related to your industry.
3. Spell check multiple ways
If you misspell a keyword, it won’t be searchable. It’s a common mistake, but it is detrimental. To avoid spelling errors, spell check multiple ways: use the computer’s spell check, read your resume aloud, and have someone else proofread it.
4. Use your location as a keyword
Recruiters and systems are often looking for candidates in certain locations. Make sure to list where you live or where you’d like to relocate. Consider writing the full location and using the postal code.
5. Write out acronyms
Particular industries will use acronyms that are considered common knowledge. With search in mind, however, it’s best to play it safe and write out full names. You can then put the acronym in parenthesis afterward.
6. Skip white text
Don’t stuff keywords by using white text to hide extra words. ATS programs are smart and many will pick up on this. Employers consider this deceitful and may not hesitate to reject the application.
7. Look at company and culture verbiage
Beyond industry keywords, give your resume an edge by including words the company uses to describe their business and culture. Poke around the corporate website to find important searchable terms.
8. Keep it clean
Make it easy for technology systems to search your resume by focusing on the copy. Remove graphics, cut irrelevant past positions or filler, skip special characters and avoid fancy borders.
9. Don’t force it
Optimizing a resume with keywords should still feel natural in the copy. Don’t force keywords in where they don’t make sense, grammatically or otherwise.
10. Optimize your LinkedIn profile
Keywords play an important role in your LinkedIn profile, too. LinkedIn is one of the best ways to support your resume and make sure your search ranks high for recruiters via various channels.