Updated 05/13/2010 05:00 AM
Your Career: Keywords help resumes get a second look
Keywords can make the crucial difference between a resume that is ignored and a resume that gets a second look from the human resource department. Employment reporter Asa Aarons filed the following report.
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Ask anyone in the job market - trying to create the perfect resume can be frustrating.
"I do know people who are working on resumes and they send them
in and nothing happens," says marketing executive Susan Roussin.
Two virtually identical resumes can have the same name, job history and references, but only one will succeed because it has important keywords.
Keywords aren't initially intended for human eyes, but are to be read by robots. More precisely, computer software is often used by human resource managers to comb through resumes, and the software is programmed to find certain keywords and phrases that reveal qualities and qualifications.
Modern human resource departments use scanning software to glean through the 1,000 applications that can arrive for just one job opening.
Janice Moore-Smith, an education and career specialist at the New York Public Library, has helped thousands of people create resumes that work. She says that keywords are constantly changing, so job seekers should study the field in which they seek work and absorb the language.
"They are going to look for words appropriate for their job needs," she says. "For accountants, they will look for things like 'accounts,' 'receivable accounts,' 'payable,' 'financial statements,' 'management documentations;' words that are the words of the craft that you do."
One strategy is to check the help wanted ad and use the same keywords the company used to describe the job.
"If an ad says the company want a dependable, dynamic, reliable hardworking individual who is able to coordinate, develop new plans manage budgets, use those same keywords," says Moore-Smith.
One final word needs special attention - "resume." Experts say it should be there on resumes that show up in software searches. But while "resume" spelled correctly has two little accent marks over each "e," many software programs interpret that incorrectly as a garbled word.
To play it safe, just use the plain word "resume" and leave the accents alone.