I own a small online marketing company. Our mission is to help our customers WIN in online local search. That is, we use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to help small businesses appear higher in Google search in their local area. The first step in our process is to identify the keywords their potential customers are using when searching for their services and products. If businesses are not using the right keywords to describe what they do, new customers are not finding them. Our business succeeds by helping our customers use strategic keywords to describe the services and products they offer so that their customers can find them easily online.
In the same way, your resume will benefit by using strategically targeted keywords to describe your skills and achievements. In particular, if you’re applying for a specific job, review the job description carefully and use the same language (keywords) to describe your skills that potential employers used in their job posting.
As I’ve discussed before, it’s not practical for most hiring managers to thoroughly read all of the resumes they receive. They are more likely to spend 15-30 seconds to scan through each resume. For larger organizations, the hiring manager may even have an assistant filter incoming resumes by scanning for specific keywords. In some cases, HR departments utilize automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) to do the filtering. When ATS is used, a resume that does not have the right keywords may never be seen by human eyes.
The bottom line is, if you’re not using the right keywords to describe your skills and achievements, your potential employer may never notice you.