With technology advancement, a resume that lacks keywords or key phrases relevant to your career field may hinder your job search. Referenced in Resumes in Cyberspace, written by Pat Criscito and published by Barron’s, she writes, “According to U.S. News & World Report, more than 1,000 unsolicited resumes arrive every week at most Fortune 500 companies, and before the days of applicant tracking systems and resumes canning, 80 percent were thrown out after a quick review.” Mrs. Criscito also informs readers, “Instead of opening and reading thousands of resumes, companies can now scan them and sort them by keywords.”
What do you do if you’re a new graduate with limited experience? You dig deep, VERY deep. Covering all the bases will ensure your resume reflects key information that is relevant to your career. It’s important to focus on the assets you bring to the table, and it’s even more important not to forget every career tidbit. Here’s a checklist with some select experience you may possess, but may have forgotten:
¨ Technologically advanced equipment and tools
¨ Advanced writing courses
¨ Computer platforms, software, LAN/WAN capabilities, and so on
¨ Volunteer work, externship, and internship positions
¨ Research or college projects (e.g., mock marketing plan for a small business)
¨ Special assignments
¨ Family business positions
¨ Leadership positions, such as coaching
¨ Foreign languages
The contents of this list will not apply to everyone, of course. In order to take full advantage of the experiences you possess, dissect your entire history. Of course, I have tips that will recognize valuable resources for tracking down all relevant experiences.
First, refresh your memory by reviewing a date book or planner in search of seminars or committee participation (among others) that you might have forgotten. You’ll be surprised at those things you did over the last 12 months that slipped your mind. Select only those elements that reflect leadership or other aspects important to your short- and long-term career objectives.
Second, access your personnel file at your current employer or personal copy at home. Superiors, in addition to evaluating your performance, sometimes make small notations as thanks for helping with project deadlines and so on.
Third, talk to your friends and family. Individuals tend to enjoy giving their “two cents” on topics concerning other people, so ask their thoughts on the types of skills they feel are critical. Make notations concerning your conversations. Log every bit of free advice that you didn’t receive from your previous interviewee. Run with it! Cross off those that you’ve already considered, and research and include those that slipped your mind. Concentrate on those satisfying your current career agenda and put others towards the bottom of the resume.
Incorporating focused keywords and key phrases in your resume will allow for beefier content and enhance the return of your resume. A better return means that it will get more show time and ultimately increase the number of interviews you attend. The only purpose of the resume, after all, is to produce more interviews.