To have a perfect resume to get a job is the first step towards a successful career. In simple terms, your resume is a formal document containing all necessary information which portrays your overall career background and the skills which you possess. But in the present world when there are thousands of applicants for a job the sheer influx of data pertaining to each candidate is simply huge.
In this scenario, technology to filter this data to bring out the best candidates is the only solution. Therefore, the process to write or optimize your resume with the specific keywords and descriptions pertaining to the job to get the best result via a computer screening process is called resume optimization.
This article aims to give you an understanding of resume optimization from three dimensions. You as a candidate applying for a job; The recruiter who recruiting you for the job; what you should do to get the best results.
1. Your Online Visibility Matters
“Are you visible online?” This is the most fundamental question which, You as a Jobseeker need to ask first. It is your online visibility that holds the key to your success. Merely writing the resume will not suffice. Something more is also required on your part. You must take cognisance of the fact that when you apply for a job, the application is first screened through software. In other words, at the first stage, your application is viewed by a computer. It is only after this process that the application reaches a human.
2. The Recruiter
As a job seeker, you must hold awareness of the fact that a company gets hundreds and thousands of application for the same job. Therefore, It is humanly not possible on the part of the company to go through every application. To tackle this Your application will be screened via computer-generated software. In common parlance, we call it Application Tracking System(ATS). It is this ATS that does the work of ‘Separating the ‘Wheat from the Chaff’. This process cuts down the number of application to readable numbers for the recruiter to go through them specifically one by one. The recruiters face the problem of receiving applications from candidates who are not adequately qualified for the job. This consumes time, energy and increases the cost of recruitment on the part of the company.
3. What you should do?
Search Engine Optimization(SEO)As a job seeker, you must keep in mind the importance of keywords in your resume. These keywords will help you to become “visible” online for that software. The SEO which you will use in your resume will help the electronic robot to search for you better and find you easily from your resume. If the keywords as per the job requirement are missing then, unfortunately, the odds of your resume passing through the entire resume is low. It might get rejected at the very beginning itself.
Application Tracking SystemYou must take note of the fact that the ATS cannot see any graphics, photographs, text boxes, colour ink. These will capture unnecessary space and make the resume look complicated. Therefore, you can safely remove them from your resume. It must be noted that a clean and simple resume is the key. It is advisable that you use a standard application format. If your format is confusing and complicated then you might not get through the ATS in the first place. You must follow the instruction and send the exact file type as specified and required by the recruiter.
Job titleYou must keep into perspective that the recruiter is looking for candidates for a ‘Specific Job’ as per the demand and vacancy of the company. Therefore, the career objective that the company is looking for and the job that you are looking for must exactly match the demand of the company. For example- career objective: Non-Profit Executive Director.
A perfect blend of keywords and work historyWork history needs your adequate attention. It includes the portfolios and other designation and workload on which you have worked in the past. Therefore, make sure that the most recent work or the position you have held finds a place in the initial part of the resume. Mention it first. Your skills and work must match the post you are applying for. Be specific. Don’t generalise. It can have a negative effect. Also, include the necessary skills that are required to do the job.
Don’t make it too mechanicalIt is an undeniable fact that the resume will be screened by ATS. But, there’s a note of caution. You should not make the resume way too mechanical. You must take cognizance of the fact that after the ATS the resume will be looked at by a human. Therefore, you should make it reader-friendly.
Arrangement and Frequency of KeywordsMerely stuffing the resume with keywords will not place you a notch higher. It is about the arrangement and frequency of the keywords used in the right place in your resume. For example, the qualities mentioned in the job description which the recruiter is looking for in a candidate, the keywords pertaining to those qualities must find more frequent mention in the very initial lines of the resume. Also, the number of times you use those keywords must also be given adequate attention.