The Keywordized Internet Resume Technique

Internet resumes are a different breed from the typical paper resume. Most paper resumes are verb oriented. But Internet resumes need to accomplish a different purpose, since they function best in searchable format. And employers do not search for verbs, they search for nouns. Nouns are the keywords or "buzzwords" that employers look for in prequalifying potential candidates.

Internet resumes are noun oriented, not verb oriented.

In preparing your resume for posting on the Net, be sure to examine your resume from the perspective of searchability. Even if the resume is not initially keyword searched, it may find its way into an employer or general resume database/applicant tracking system, perhaps far beyond the bounds of your initial posting location.

Keywordize your Internet resume. In order to be successful, your Internet resume should serve a dual purpose: First, it should sell your background and experience to prospective employers; and second, it should be "findable." What do I mean by "findable?" (I know, new word, fails spell check.) Findable means that your resume will be found when a keyword search is performed. When you post your resume to a database, it will languish there in virtual obscurity unless you have the necessary keywords packed into the resume to be found and pulled out of the mountain.

To be found, you must make yourself findable.

For example, the resume database at CollegeGrad.com has thousands of resumes. In order to be found, you have to be findable. And that doesn't mean keyword packing—i.e., just putting in keywords because they might be searched for, even though they don't apply specifically to you. No, you should only include keywords that do apply to you and your background, even if the experience or education is minimal. And you should exclude any keywords that do not apply.

Think like a hiring manager—if you were to do a keyword search for a candidate, what would you search for? Not sure? Take a look at the job postings at our site. These are reverse keywords, since the employers (if they are writing the job posting correctly) are including the keywords they want candidates to find. So look for the keywords, the industry terms, the buzzwords, the technical phrases that all spell out the "fit" for a particular position.

The ideal keyword resume will be found in keyword searches for every position where you do fit and not found for every position you do not fit. Obviously, that is technically impossible, but that should be your goal. Look at the job postings that fit what you are seeking. Now look at your resume. Does it include the keywords being used? If not, make sure you include them—ideally within the context of either the experience or education sections. However, it is also acceptable to include them in either the summary section or a separate "Skills" section (especially for technically oriented positions).

Why is this important? Because your Internet resume will typically find its way into two different systems—resume databases and corporate applicant tracking systems (ATS). Both are keyword oriented.

So redo your resume with the keyword approach. And don't end up with two different versions of your resume—incorporate the keywords into your standard resume itself. Not only will it make you more "findable," it will also help you in speaking the lingo and language of your industry.

Once you have updated your resume, reload/replace it in the resume database at CollegeGrad.com to increase your hit rate of being found on the Internet.