More keyword tips and cautions:
- Columnist Joyce Lain Kennedy notes that some applicant software programs can’t index resumes in MS Word. But you have to have your resume indexed if you want its keywords to be searched. Thus, the importance of keywords supports the necessity of having both a print version of your resume and a text version that you can simply paste into an e-mail message. Some employers don’t want to take the extra step of opening the print version of your resume that you’ve sent as an e-mail attachment, and others won’t do so for fear of viruses.
- If you post your resume on Internet job boards, be sure to avoid emphasizing keywords that relate to jobs you don’t want. If you have jobs in your employment history that are unrelated to what you want to do next, go easy on loading the descriptions of those jobs with keywords. Otherwise, your resume will pop up in searches for your old career and not necessarily your new one.
- Don’t forget about “soft skills,” such as interpersonal and communications skills that relate to many types of jobs. These soft skills tend to be the ones that are transferable and applicable across various jobs/careers, as well as desirable personality traits. Assureconsulting.com has a nice list of nouns and adjectives on its Web site that represent a sort of “second tier” of keywords, the first tier being the hard skills that relate very specifically to the job you seek. When compiling a list of soft skills and personal traits to use as keywords, Rebecca Smith made her word selections based on frequency of occurrence.
- Some job boards have a feature that enables you to see how many times the resume you’ve posted has been searched. If your resume hasn’t been searched very many times, odds are that you lack the right keywords for the kinds of jobs you want.