May 19, 2010

Resume and Linkedin Profile Optimization

Do you ever find that submitting your resume to an online application is like dropping it into a black hole?  Maybe your resume isn't getting the attention it should. Your odds of getting an interview go way up when a recruiter or hiring manager can find your resume easily online.  Especially if they can find what they are looking for in it quickly and easily.

Skill keywords are crucial for getting your resume noticed.  Where they are placed is equally important.  You must explain properly what you have done and for whom.

At the top of your resume in the summary area, you should list the required skills for the job for which you are applying.  Next to each of these, you should list the number of years experience you have with that skill.  If you have no experience with that skill, just say so, or say "knowledge of" or "training in."  Also list any core skill that you possess that may be relevant to that job with the years experience next to it. Ditch the generic summary at the top of your resume.

Make sure each skill that you have listed at the top is also shown in the body of the resume in each job where you used that skill so that the reader can see where and how you used each of these skills.  Under each job description, have a summary of skills used.  List the skills again, along with any other skills that were used during that job.

After the title and company name for each job description in the body of your resume, write a short paragraph with details about what the company is and does, and what your main job duty was there.  Although you may think it's obvious, not every reader of your resume will understand what that company is and what your role was unless you spell it out specifically.

Don't make the reader do any extra work (like having to click a link to find out more about a company you worked for) to understand exactly what you did and for whom. 

In your bullet points under that short paragraph do not just list what you were responsible for.  List accomplishments.  Use numbers and descriptive words to show what your impact was.  "Increased sales" is not enough.  "Increased sales by 15% over 6 months" is better. 

Repeat everything you have now done on your resume in your LinkedIn profile.  Use the information that you might include in a cover letter in the top summary portion of your LinkedIn profile.  Include your keywords there, too.  Start the "skills used" section under each job description with your name, like this:

Craig Fisher: Talent Acquisition Manager, Talent Attraction Strategist, Recruiting/Sales Manager, Sales, Business Development, Recruiter, Headhunter, Executive Search, Staff Augmentation, Information Technology Consulting Services; Contract, Temp-to-Perm / Contract-to-Hire, & Full-Time Staffing Recruiting; Executive Search. CIO, CFO, CEO, ERP, Oracle, SAP, Peoplesoft, .Net Application Developers, Project Managers, Business Analysts, DBAs, Software Package Installation/Configuration, Social Media Recruiting/Branding/Twitter Strategy Training

You need keywords that will be specific to what you do in order to help separate your resume from the thousands of resumes that are less specific.  A good recruiter will narrow their search with less generic keywords.  Having these listed multiple times in your resume will help it come up at the top of the search results in Google, Linkedin, Job Boards, and company databases.

This article was originally a guest post by me on the Matrix Resources Blog.  Thank you Matrix!

Related posts:

The Best Format for Your Resume (Hint: It's not .PDF)

Top 10 Things to Leave OFF of Your Resume

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