Today’s resumes look and function much differently than resumes did years ago. Now, instead of typing up a list of job experiences and qualifications for another human to read, job seekers must type up their qualifications for a search engine to read. Naturally, online resumes have a different set of resume dos and don’ts than traditional paper resumes. Here are five resume dos and don’ts for people who want to make sure their resumes are noticed by search engines.
Do: Include Keywords Strategically
When employers look for online resumes, they do so by searching for various keywords. Therefore, it is essential for job seekers to include the specific words and phrases that employers are likely to search for, such as the names of specific job titles, certifications or programs. Job seekers must also use variations of keywords, such as “Tennessee,” “Tenn,” and “TN,” so their resume will show up no matter which variation the employer searches for.
Don’t: Be Too Creative
While a resume is designed to help candidates stand apart from their competition, it is important that job seekers do not get too creative. For example, using creative keywords instead of common keywords will prevent a resume from showing up in a search. Also, creating a resume with a dark background and light text just ensures that, if an employer does find the resume, he will not print it out. The skills and qualifications listed should be unique—not the formatting.
Do: Update Often
Many employers begin their search with the resumes that have been updated most frequently. This means that even if you follow all the appropriate resume dos and don’ts, but you don’t update your resume periodically, it will go unseen. Even if your information has not changed significantly since you first uploaded your resume, take the time to go back and freshen it up a little. This will keep it current and more likely to be show up in search results.
Don’t: Forget to Proofread
One of the great things about online resume searches is that employers can easily and quickly access hundreds of resumes with just a few simple clicks. However, the sheer number of options leaves employers looking for any reason to weed out candidates, and many employers will toss a resume for something as simple as a single typo. Job seekers must not only make sure that their resumes are optimized, but also that they are 100 percent error-free. LiveCareer’s Resume Check service is a great way to double-check your resume for common errors.
Do: Include an Effective Title
Employers do not have the time to sit down and read through every resume they find. Instead, they scan them quickly to look for ones that catch their eye. Because the title is often the first part of the resume that an employer sees, having an effective title that makes the employer want to read more is essential. A title such as “Jane Smith Resume” will not encourage employers to keep reading the way that “Elementary Teacher Specializing in Raising Standardized Test Scores” will.
Following these online resume dos and don’ts is absolutely essential if you want your resume to be seen and considered. For job seekers that need a little extra help making their online resume stand-out, LiveCareer offers several helpful services, including our Resume Builder, which can help you create, organize, download and send a picture-perfect resume that will get you the attention you need to land the interview and get hired faster.