What is resume optimization?

If you are applying to a new job you may not be aware that quite often your resume will first be reviewed by a piece of software rather than a recruiter. This software is called an Applicant Tracking System and it will use an algorithm similar to that used by a search engine like Google to find resumes that best match what the recruiter is looking for. So if you want to ensure that your resume will get through the software stage of the process you have to ensure that it is optimized in a way that it will match what the recruiter is looking for. Resume optimization however is not as simple as it sounds and you may have some work to do with your resume.
resume optimization

How does resume keyword optimization work?

If you are going to SEO your resume you will need to on the whole concentrate on what keywords are being used. Keywords are the specific words or phrase related to the job that you are applying to that the recruiter will be looking for. These are words that will describe the specific job title, skills, qualifications, training and even software that the recruiter will want you to have. If your resume matches the keywords that the recruiter punches into the software then your resume will be passed to them as eligible for interview after their final review.

Where do you put keywords for resume optimization?

Organizing and writing your resume for resume optimization you will need to follow some simple guidelines so that your resume will be passed by the applicant tracking software:

  • Don’t stuff your resume with keywords; most systems are intelligent enough to spot when you are adding extra keywords in a hope of making your resume more relevant. Keywords should be spread across all sections of your resume and should only be used 1-3 times each.
  • Format your resume in a simple manner; using fancy fonts, tables or other formatting can cause problems with the software reading your information. They will not ask you to redo your resume in this case it will just be rejected.
  • Provide your resume by preference in text format, or Word.doc format. Avoid the use of PDF as this is not always read correctly.
  • Use standard, easily recognizable headings for your sections; skills, education, qualifications, experience.
  • Use acronyms as well as spelling things out as you never know which the recruiter will search for.

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