SEO for Resumes

24 Jun SEO for Resumes

Should you use SEO principles for resume’s?
The recruitment game has changed. Many people are not aware of the massive changes technology has had on sourcing and selecting staff. It’s an evolution and its likely impacting you, your changes and your confidence. There are some new rules to the game. I will let you in on some of them…
SEO – stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and anyone with a website or business knows this is an important thing – when you type a search into google, it shortlists the best pages based on the SEO (or keyword) match. Its how information is ordered in the digital age.
Technology has changed recruitment forever.
Many large companies now use ATS (Applicant Tracker Systems) to outsource the shortlisting of large pools of applicants. Such as the mining companies, who get hundreds of applications. But its widespread amongst medium to large businesses and government departments. They are “Robot Recruiters” and they are taking the ‘human’ out of HR. Or at least in the first stage of the process.
You know when you apply for a job, and you get transferred to the companies webpage to upload your resume and enter your details into fields? That’s likely an ATS system, such as Taleo or similar. Theres lot of them and they all work a little differently. But the job of the ATS is to narrow down the field. They do this using sophisticated technology which “reads” your resume and turfs out the resumes which don’t have certain key words and other sourced information or perquisites.
ATS systems can effectively screen out 75% of applicants. So getting past them is the first hurdle.
Incorporating SEO Principles into your resume.
Just like google searches for sites containing your key word search in order of relevance (although google has many more sophisticated algorithims), the ATS does the same. So if a job was advertising requiring a Bachelor of Science degree – the HR or Recruitment person, would add “Bachelor” and “Science”…the ATS even reads and looks for your headings and subheadings. Like people, some robots are smarter than others.
It is critical that you included key words pertaining to the role you are going for. Use the SEO Principles….look at the ad, the industry and the requirements and the context of the role, make a list of those key words….and incorporate them into your resume. When I develop a clients resume, I create a list of key capabilities and areas of expertise and experience etc….this makes it easy to change to suit the role.
The same principles work for online profiles, such as LinkedIN. Many recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIN to source applicants….and to do this, they type in key words….and a shortlist is presented based on your profiles content, your job titles, employers etc. Having a comprehensive linkedIN profile with as much information (and key words as possible) is critical to increasing your chances of being “found” or head hunted.
Tricks of the trade to beat the damned ATS
  1. Upload the right file format – This can be people’s biggest mistake. Some older ATS cannot read PDF’s (and even when advertisers state to upload a .doc file, people still ignore it. Don’t ignore it. This is critical. The types of files an employer says it wants, should be strictly complied with – as they are the files their systems will “read”. Do not design your resume in a fancy program and then save as a PDF. Design it in word, make it look great, use colour, but don’t go overboard,
  2. Avoid using text boxes and headers and footers for key information. ATS struggles here too. Keep things steamlined and simple.
  3. Use common phrases for headings…ie education / qualifications, skills / key capabilities/ and work experience / achievements / referees etc….dont get tricky with headings…confused robots are not good helpers.
  4. Don’t use abbreviations or slang ie write ‘Sales Representative’ instead of ‘Sales Rep’
  5. Upload your resume if you can (in word or specified file type), don’t cut and paste into the fields on the online system – You want it to look beautiful.
  6. Create a bulleted list of your capabilities –  Key word – tick. Key word – tick Key word – tick
  7. Do not use photos or images – its scrambles the robots brain.
  8. Do not use the resume templates from Word – they are mostly in table form and are not compatible with some ATS systems.
= Shortlisted resume. 🙂
Phew… that you have robot proofed your resume, revert back to the normal old school process, where you need to impress the human…..only it needs to be stepped up way more than back in 1995! The best self marketer wins in most cases. Unless you know the boss.
Marketing and SEO are both important for success…just like a business.
Need some help with getting past the gatekeepers? I beat the robots and the humans to open the doors for you.
Its always more successful to find an alternative strategy to get past the robots – such as connecting with a person in HR or within the company that you can send your resume to directly. Robots are robots after all, and they reduce you to data. You are more than data.
Contact me and I will give you the keys (and the key words)… and a strategy for beating the pesky robot recruiters.
To your success,
Seona Craig
Director – YOU Unlimited
0423 171 234