As a Headhunter or Recruiter what keywords would you enter if you wanted to find the most qualified candidate for the job? Recruiters expect to find the right person by identifying the resume with the most keywords used in their initial job announcement/advertisement. Companies advertising online place relevant and desired “key words” into their resume screening program – Applicant Tracking System (ATF) software. ATF, also known as talent management systems (TMS) is used to garner, analyze, and coordinate resumes and applicant information. One important fact – these tracking systems screen out about one half of all resume submissions. Many unsuccessful online job seekers have long believed that their online resume submissions go into an obscure resume abyss. These futile job hunters may really be on to something! One reason, at least 40-50% of all online submissions by job hunters get screened as “not having the basic qualifications for the job” even though the submitter may truly have the qualifications. These candidates simply failed to place those qualifications into their resume via select keywords.
To make an impact, and prove you are qualified for a position, when applying for a position titled “operations manager” ensure that both of the title words – “operations” and “manager” are strategically placed in your resume (preferably in the top one third). Note: Another way to enter the chasm of resume doom is to confuse the screening/tracking software with the presentation of your information and dates in the “Job History” or “Experience” section. Always list the employer first and then list dates of employment (on the right side of the page).
Headhunters and Recruiters like “dynamic” “pop off of the page” verbiage! While your resume design should be presented in a simple, easy-to-read format to get the best results, each sentence within your “Skills/Value Added” and “Employment History” sections should start off with dynamic and anomalous action words. Such pop out lead-in’s can include action words such as “Employed forward thinking leadership to motivate staff…”, or “Led teams in operational and compliance initiatives, improving internal control, and financial results…”.
Remember – It’s not about you, it’s all about the Headhunter or Recruiter and their company or the company they represent. Take a look at the company’s website for clues to their values – can you align yourself with a company’s culture (often defined by their mission statement)? Aligning yourself and your resume with the organization and its mission is extraordinarily important for success in any online resume submission.
Articles on talent management in professional services firms from Halogen Software