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Refresh your resume for today’s job market!

You may remember our previous blog post about the hiring opportunities that are available right now (if you don’t, check out our blog post here.) So, if the economy is good, the job market is strong, and it’s a job seeker’s market right now, you might be thinking, “Why am I still looking for a job?”

There are several obvious reasons why the jobs you may be looking for aren’t coming to you, such as qualifications or experience, but that usually holds you back only when applying directly to companies and not to recruiters. Spectra360 Recruiters have an abundance of open positions, but if your resume is not set up correctly, you could be overlooked. So, let’s figure out how to fix that right now, shall we?

The anatomy of resume searching

When you upload your resume to a job board, whether for a specific job or to be considered for many jobs, your resume is filed into a database. Then, when a recruiter needs to find the right candidates for a particular job, they search the database (using software called Applicant Tracking Software). They will use the most obvious things to filter out resumes to start, such as location, and then they narrow down the search further using keyword searches.

What are “keywords” in a resume?

Running keyword searches in a database is very similar to Googling something. When you use Google to search for a restaurant, you might type “seafood restaurant close to me.” Google will then narrow down everything in the database to come up with restaurants, then narrow down to all restaurants within 10 miles or so, then narrow down again to those that list seafood in their name. Resume filters do the same by looking for words that relate to the open job. The relevant keywords are usually the names of certain software, licenses, or certifications.

If we are looking for a receptionist to help with filing, we might want the employee to know how to use Excel. So, we would narrow down the search using keyword #Excel or #Microsoft. If your resume doesn’t include those words (you don’t need hashtags), you will drop out of the shortlist for this job.

How to choose the right keywords.

Of course, it is essential to have your resume found by recruiters, but you want to be sure the job they offer you is the right job for you, so you should never list tons of keywords. Making sure the keywords are correct is important, so do your research. Visit our website (spectra360.com) and check the job board. Find relevant jobs there (if you need jobs that are outside of what we offer, try indeed.com) and look through several to see what skills they require. Highlight keywords that appear in all of the postings and choose those that match your skills.

Where to place keywords in a resume

Once your resume is found, it will be looked over by a recruiter. After being contacted by the recruiter and the first round of interviews, hopefully, your resume will be forwarded to the employer. For that reason, it’s so important that your resume still reads well and is not just a bunch of keywords strung together.

When we help to format resumes for our candidates, we usually place keywords inside of the description section for previous jobs and then we list the software skills after Experience.

To recap:

  • use nouns as well as verbs. For example: “Proficient in Microsoft Excel.”
  • take a look at your ideal job on Spectra360 (or indeed.com) and look at the skills companies are looking for. Use those skills to create your resume.
  • make sure your resume is still easy to read.