I recently attended the National Resume Writers' Association annual conference in San Diego and had the pleasure of hearing Paul Forster, Co-Founder and CEO of Indeed.com speak. Paul offered some excellent tips for resume optimization that can help job seekers increase the chances that they will be found on a job board. Here are my favorites:
Use full and abbreviated words in your resume. For example, a CFO should include both CFO and Chief Financial Officer in the body of the document. A candidate in the pharmaceuticals industry should use both pharmaceuticals and pharma to describe their industry.
Stem keywords and vary your word choices. For example, rather than just using the word analyst on your resume, include variants such as analysis or financial analyst as well.
Use a text only version of your resume for online posting. Many companies use parsing technology to locate the information they need on a resume. Heavily formatted Word documents may be compromised or unreadable when uploaded into their databases. Save a copy of your resume as an ASCII, plain text document to maximize the chances of having your document read.
Refresh your resume. Recent, fresh resumes appear higher in the database cue. By changing something on the resume you have uploaded to a job board, you increase your chances of being found online. Be careful not to use this technique too frequently or your resume could be perceived as spam.
Don't compromise the reader. While it is important to optimize the resume, it must be done in a way that it still makes sense to the human reader. Be sure to balance the needs of the human reader with search engine optimization techniques to create the best results. Weave word variations into your document in a logical and natural way.
Posted by Barbara Safani