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In Creating an Effective Resume, author Mariann Siegert provides step-by-step guidance on creating resumes that highlight accomplishments and specifically target a potential employer's needs. The course covers how to build a resume that encompasses action statements, keywords, styling, and effective content, while addressing common stumbling blocks such as handling employment gaps and career changes. Framing the resume as a vital component of a personalized marketing campaign, Mariann shows how to conduct employer research and utilize keyword optimization techniques to increase a resume's potential of being found by employers and recruiters on resume banks and job sites. Also included are tips on writing cover letters and thank-you notes. Exercise files accompany the course.
Incorporating keywords into your resume is a crucial part of your marketing campaign. If you don't include applicable keywords throughout, the employer or recruiter will never be able to find you. It's imperative to find and incorporate keywords that best fit your employment goals. The number one place to look for keywords is by looking through current job descriptions that match your target position. If you have a position in mind already, use as many keywords as possible from the job description at hand.
If you are creating a resume to upload to resume banks, follow these steps. Start by searching for online resume banks or job banks that list employer job openings and positions. Search for 'resume banks' or 'job banks'. One of my favorites is monster.com. There are many others, such as indeed.com, careerbuilder.com, and a host of others. Of course, use the ones you prefer, but I would recommend using as many as you can to ascertain that you are being as thorough as possible.
That way you can create a broader base of keywords to choose from. Another keyword resource is to search through LinkedIn profiles of people that are in your same field. I am going to use monster for this example, and that's www.monster.com. And I am going to search for a web site designer. So, I am a web site designer. I'm looking for my keywords. So, I am just going to type in 'web site designer'. You don't want to include any other criteria because at this point, the location doesn't matter.
We want to find jobs we would be interested in applying for and harvest the keywords. Let's say that I'm interested in the web site designer here in Vermont, so I will click on Website Designer. And notice that you also have just a little bit of a description underneath of each of these that you can read through and kind of see if it sounds interesting to you. So, I am interested in this one in Vermont as a web site designer. Now I click on the link, and it takes me here. Now, the next thing that I want to do is copy and paste keywords and keyword phrases from this open position.
So, let's say that in this case I'm going to copy all of the duties for this particular job. I going to take all of this and I am just kind of copy, so I can either right-click of course to copy, or I can do Ctrl+C as a keyboard shortcut. And then I am just going to go to Word and I am going to paste. And then, the next thing that I'm going to do is say okay, you know what, I like all this information. Let's see what else that I can find. Now, my keywords in here, by the way, might be, let's say e-commerce applications.
That could be a keyboard, so I can select that and highlight it. Then I can go back to my search and I can say you know, I need a BS or BA degree, and also let's say that I need excellent client-relational skills. So, I am going to select that. So, I can hold down my Ctrl key and I can select more than one thing. Next, let's say, oh, I need all this information, expert in XHTML. Let's go ahead and select all of that. I'm still holding down my Ctrl key and selecting the rest of the information.
Now, I am going to do a Ctrl+C to copy. I am going to go back over to my Word document and do a Ctrl+V to paste. On the Mac, you are not able to copy and paste more than one thing at a time, but you can copy individually. You may have to clean this up a little when you are using your Ctrl key to copy and paste. I am just going to hit Enter, and we are good to go. And you want to repeat this. You are going to find another job that you like. You are going to find the keywords. And a good thing to do, again, is to go through and just select and highlight those keywords that you think are going to be important.
You can delete all the other text, or you can highlight it, either way. Now, what you want to do is be aware of keywords that are repeatedly being used to describe your targeted job. You can of course copy entire descriptions if you really liked the job or just paste pertinent keywords or phrases relevant to your job-hunting target, such as job titles. It might be technical terms, skills, and professional expertise. It might be software or hardware.
It may be degrees you need or colleges. It could be industry jargon and buzzwords. You may later consider copying the most pertinent information into your Career Management worksheet, which you will find in the Bonus Material folder in the exercise files that came with this course. Okay. So, now I know how to research, identify, and collect my keywords and phrases. Now, what do I do with them? Well, some people still place a keyword section at the top of their resume with the list of keywords but no context.
Years ago, rumor had it that old applicant tracking systems, or ATS systems, would only search the first 100 words of your document. If this was true, this limitation no longer applies. Instead, it's better to sprinkle keywords throughout your entire resume. Highlight them in each section, such as your career summary, professional experience section, technical expertise, and throughout your education sections. Make sure you standardize your job titles.
Let's say the work you are doing is that of a technical trainer, but the employer has just given you some strange, off-the-wall title, such as Employee Improvement Specialist. If this is a case, consider using the industry-standard title of technical trainer in your resume instead. You can then put the obscure title in parentheses next to it if you prefer. Whatever you do, be sure to include the title of the job you're looking for somewhere in your resume. It's one of your main keywords.
Including keywords in your resume is crucial in your job search. Be sure to perform job search optimization by using keywords throughout. The more keywords you use that match the employer's search criteria, the higher rating you will receive in their search results of possible candidates. Not optimizing your resume will lead to no leads.
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