A Natural Keyword Resume
Using natural keywords in a resume will catch the potential employer’s eye. The employer may spend the time to read your cover letter, but they will most likely glance through and scan your resume. While doing this, they will be looking for natural keywords that will catch their eye and make them read rather than scan.
In order to make the employer read, rather than scan the resume, it is important that you know what the employer is looking for. Begin by researching the position, the employer and current employees. Make yourself a copy of the job description. If you cannot find one, call the human resources department at the company you are interested in applying for. They may be able to send you a description or give you an overview of the position on the phone. They may even be willing to tell you what the employer typically looks for in an employee or resume. If you know people who work for your potential employer, ask them about their jobs and the atmosphere of the company. They will be able to give you hands on tips about the position and job requirements.
Your resume is basically a promotional tool. You will use specific concepts and keywords as you would if you were trying to optimize a website for the search engines. In your case, you potential employer is the search engine and you need to supply the essential and highly searched keywords. Begin your resume by branding yourself. You will have the opportunity to do this in your objective and cover letter. Branding is basically a promise and a pledge of quality. In your resume you will want to make a promise and a pledge. These are very strong words and they require a certain amount of commitment on your part. Stating that you “pledge to be a team player,” for example is a strong phrase and will catch the eye of the employer.
You will also want to develop a “USP” or “unique selling proposition” for yourself. This works hand in hand with branding yourself. This is the one thing that makes you different than all of the other applicants. Using strong action verbs and making pledges will show that you are different because you are willing to make commitments before you even have the position. Try not to use passive words or phrases, as these are signs of weaknesses to most employers. For example, instead of saying “I believe,” state “I know.” “Be” verbs are also passive and you will want to try to eliminate those as much as possible as well, this may not be possible in all circumstances.
If you are in sales or management, use strong pricing, promotion and product symbols. For example, if you were responsible for expensive equipment and its upkeep. You will want to use strong action verbs as well as accurate figures. Numbers and dollar signs catch the eye of any corporate manager and employer. They will be very interested in knowing that you were responsible for “$1.5 million of airline equipment” or that you were able to single-handedly raise sales by 15%. Numbers mix up the flow of your words and they always stand out on a resume. The employer will also be tempted to ask you for more information in those areas.
As a potential employee, you will also want to incorporate a certain amount of personal selling with your product (which is you.) Talk about yourself as if you are a “product,” and sell yourself as persuasively as you can. Do not incorporate information that is unnecessary, but use the information that is relevant to the position, despite how many jobs you may have had. If there are only three job positions that you have held that are relevant, sell yourself to the max with the information that you learned from those areas. Incorporate keywords that are important to those areas. For example, if you were a trainer at a restaurant and you are seeking a management position, you will be able to sell you teamwork abilities as well as organizational skills learned from writing training schedules and teaching classes. You will be amazed at how many skills you may have actually acquired during a college job.