Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 1st 2016 Contents No recruiter ever searches a resume database
or reads resumes for the fun of it.
Whenever they search for resumes, job titles and
skill sets from the formal Job Description make up
their primary search terms. Here are five secrets that
will dramatically improve your resume's results.
Rewards for Keyword Placement
As much as possible, front-load crucial keywords
at the beginning of your resume.
Resume database search algorithms reward words
near the top of a document, because they are seen
to help determine a document's relevance. This affects
the discoverability of your resume.
It also affects the speed with which your resume
communicates critical skills to a knowledgeable read-
Rewards for Keyword Frequency
A resume database search first finds all resumes
with even just one of the requested keywords.
The search engine next prioritizes those key search
terms based on their proximity to the top of the doc-
ument and then on their frequency of use throughout
A Professional Skills section near the top of your
resume, as we recommend at KnockemDead.com,
delivers this, though there are also other benefits.
Rewards for Keyword Prioritization
Ultimately, your resume will be read by a hiring
manager who really knows what's a "must have" and
what's a "nice to have" in this job.
The easiest way to explain this is with an example.
Awhile back, we did a resume for a dental assistant
(it's a job that sadly we have both had exposure to)
and she gave us a list of the important technical skills
of her job.
We put her list of skills into three columns (for
visual accessibility) and gave it a Professional Skills
heading. Then something jumped out at me: her list
started with "Teeth whitening" and ended with "Four-
What was so terrible about this? In the West, we
read from left to right and top to bottom, so common
sense says that the most important skills for a job
should come before the less important skills. We
immediately prioritized her skills based on their
importance to the deliverables of the job; so that
"Four-handed dentistry" came first and 'Teeth whiten-
ing" came just about last.
By prioritizing skills you are subtly telling the hiring
manager, that you have a firm grasp of the relative
importance of the necessary skills of your work. This
adds to the clear focus and power of the opening
first half page of your resume that will show that:
• Your skills backs up your statements of ability
• Your use of prioritization shows your under-
standing of the relative importance of the com-
ponent parts of the job.
Rewards of Recognizing the
The result of following these directions is that in the
first half page of your resume, and well within the
time constraints of a recruiter's six second scan you
have told a clear and concise story of your ability to
do the job, and gone a long way towards earning your
place on the short list of candidates who will be
brought in for interview.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Rewards for Keyword
Repetition in Context
The first half page of your resume is
built to make your resume discoverable
in database searches and pass the six-
second scan test. The balance of your
resume needs to support these claims
and put them in context for a discerning
A step that most resume writers for-
get is to repeat the skills employers see
as critical within the context of all the
jobs in which you have applied them.
Repeating your relevant professional
skills like this helps you in two ways:
1. It helps the hiring manager see
those skills in context, and that
helps her see a more complete pic-
ture of the professional you.
2. It increases the frequency of key-
words, and as a result the discov-
erability of the resume.
Get Inside Your Cus-
Look into your work history from the
POV of an employer who wants to fill
a specific job. Build your resume around
the skills you have to make you com-
petitive for the position. And remember
that where and how you place this
information is relevant to both the com-
puters and the people who will be eval-
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