Have you search optimized your resume yet? Believe it or not, these days resume SEO can be a big factor in your application response rate.
For years, online marketers have understood the importance of optimizing the content they post on the Internet. Search engine optimization (or SEO) uses keywords and key phrases to create greater visibility with Google, Yahoo, Bing and other players in the search game.
Now, many jobseekers are using a similar strategy, leveraging keywords and other resume tactics, to capture the attention of hiring managers and recruiters.
According to some experts, jobseekers should be experiencing a 25% response rate from their resumes. In other words, for every four resumes you send out, you should be getting at least one positive response from an employer.
However, the typical jobseeker experiences a response rate of less than 2%. Why the discrepancy? Because the typical jobseeker hasn’t applied SEO-type techniques to their resume.
Why Is Resume SEO Important?
In the “old days”, employers screened cover letters to whittle the candidate pool down to the most qualified applicants. But with hundreds of jobseekers applying for every job opening, today’s employers don’t have the time to read cover letters. Instead, they use databases and other technologies to do the heavy lifting for them.
So when you apply for a job, your resume is scanned into an electronic database. Employers and hiring managers then search the database using targeted keywords. If your resume contains the right words, you’ll probably get an interview. If it doesn’t, then you’re out luck – no matter how qualified you are for the job.
How to Search Optimize Your Resume
Resume search optimization injects specific keywords into your resume, raising your profile in the employer’s database. But here’s the catch: no two employers utilize the same keywords. In fact, most employers tailor their keyword searches to the specific activities and responsibilities associated with the position.
Effective resume SEO begins with a solid, baseline resume. From there, you’ll need to identify keywords in the job description and incorporate them into a new version of your resume – one that has been created to accommodate the employer’s specific search criteria.
Is it more work? Sure. But by injecting keywords from the job description into a customized version of your resume, you could achieve a tenfold increase in your response rate and dramatically improve your profile in today’s job market.