Optimizing Your Resume for the Job Boards
In this section, I’m going to show you how submit and manage your online resume with Career Builder to keep it showing up near the top of the list for employer searches.
Keeping your resume at the top of the search results for any online resume database will mean that more employers will see you thus increasing your chances for an interview.
I’m going to show you how employers search for candidate in Career Builder.
Your resume and on-line resume profile need to be finely tuned so that when employers search for the skills you possess, your resume is displayed on the first results page.
The examples discussed in this section will use and reference the Career Builder employer database. You can apply these same techniques to your resume profile at Monster.com, or any other online resume database you choose. Though keep in mind that CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com are the largest resume databases that employers use most, and your resume should actually be listed on both sites.
Increase your chances for finding a job, or more importantly, a job finding you by getting a CareerBuilder.com and/or Monster.com resume profile. Having an online resume will allow thousands of employers to see and read your resume.
Keep in mind that employers don’t always post the positions they are trying to fill, but often silently search resume databases for qualified candidates. On average, only 5-7% of all available jobs are ever posted.
CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com are, by far, the largest resume database houses on the Internet. There are many other smaller on-line resume database sites that are more focused on specific types of jobs. For example, www.Dice.com is more focused on High Tech jobs, www.FedWorld.com is more focused on government jobs. www.TheLadders.com is focused on executive management jobs over $100,000.
But there are many other job search websites that could be more relevant to your background. There are too many to list here, plus they often change their theme, so the best thing for you would be to search Google or Yahoo for job sites that are more relevant to your background, but still post your resume in Monster and Career Builder. Even though there are hundreds of job boards out there, employers only subscribe to a select few, or one.
Though posting your resume is free, employers pay job boards thousands of dollars for subscription access to their resume database. For example, CareerBuilder charges employers up of $10,000 per year for resume database access and give employers access to more resumes than any other job board. This is why sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com are two of your best choices because most employers subscribe to them.
When employers need to fill an open position, they generally either do one or more of the following:
• Create a job posting on their corporate website.
• Create a job posting on CareerBuilder.com or Monster.com.
• Rarely will they create a job posting in the newspaper.
• Search a resume database on CareerBuilder.com or Monster.com
Sometimes employers never even create a job listing, and instead just search resume databases for qualified individuals.
Why don’t employers just create the job listing? Every time an employer creates a job listing, they get bombarded with thousands of resumes they have to sort. Sorting through hundreds or thousands of resumes can be a tedious job; so instead, they will search resume databases where they can specify the exact job criteria they are seeking in a candidate.
Resume databases work much like Internet search engines, like Google or Yahoo. Type into Google what you are searching for and Google will return the TOP Ten most relevant results based on your search criteria.
How often do you look at past the TOP Ten search results in Google or Yahoo? Do you ever click to the second or third page? Employers are the same way when they search for candidates in on-line resume databases, but they have the option to see 25-100 resumes per page. It’s difficult to speculate how often employers look beyond the first resume results page, but it’s definitely to your advantage to show near the top.
How to Optimize Your Resume in Career Builder
Important! Even though Career Builder and Monster allow you to upload a Microsoft Word document of your resume – that’s not good enough. That feature is only there to make it easier for employers to download your resume. You still need to build your resume using the Career Builder or Monster tools.
Why do I need to build my resume using their tools? The Microsoft Word version of your resume you upload to your profile is not as searchable. If an employer is searching for a candidate with specific skills that are only listed on the Microsoft Word version of their resume, then they are less likely to show up in the resume results list.
But, if you create a Career Builder resume, which can be as easy and copying and pasting your original resume into Career Builder, then your profile will include all of the important keywords employers are using in their search.
Getting your resume to show up on the first results page an employer will see is not as difficult as you may think.
Key points to getting your resume found in Career Builder:
- Use industry “keywords” or “buzz words” on your resume that describe the type of work you do.
- List industry certifications you possess by spelling them out at and showing the initials, for example: MCSE – Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, CPA – Certified Public Accountant, PMP – Project Management Professional, etc.
- Think like an employer. If you were searching for someone with your experience and skills, what words would you type into the search window?
- Would you type in manager?
- What about senior manager?
- Or manufacturing manager?
- Sales Manager?
- Hotel Manager?
- Engineering Manager?
- HR Manager?
- What about Software Sales Manager?
- Or Automobile Manufacturing Manager?
- Project Manager?
The number of position combinations is virtually endless, and that’s why you need to have a resume that exactly matches the type of job you are seeking, and more importantly, a resume that matches how employers are searching for people with your skills.
Take some time and try to figure out how an employer might search for someone like you. You know what your good at better than anyone.
- What words in your industry are used to describe the type of work you do?
- How would you describe what you do to someone else who is in your line of work?
- Still not sure, try searching in Google on the type of work you do to help you find industry keywords that describe what you do.
Once you have a good idea, working those key keywords and characteristics into your resume will add search relevance to it and make it more likely to be found by an employer. These keywords can be placed anywhere on your resume, as long as they fit.
Best places to put these keywords would be in your Skills Summary or Education section.
If you are a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), then make sure you list your credentials both ways: “CPA and Certified Public Accountant” because an employer might search using either of those two keywords.
If you’re a PMP (Project Management Professional) then make sure you list your credentials both ways. Under your education section, you can simple state that you have this certification. Use the example resumes in the back of this guide to see exactly how to list your certifications.
How NOT to Optimize Your Resume
Knowing what not to do is just as important, if not more important than knowing what do to. Think about how an employer might NOT search for you. Why is that important, you ask? I’m referring to the outdated skills and experience on your resume, if you have any.
Do you think an employer will search try to find you based on outdated skills? Probably not. If you have outdated skills on your resume, you may consider removing them.
Take a good look at your skills, experience, and work history sections. Do you have skills or experience that may be a little outdated? For example, under your skills section, is one of your skills being proficient in Windows 95 or Microsoft Office 95? Do you really think an employer is going to try to find you by searching on Windows 95 experience? I think not.
That example is a slight exaggeration, but the key point here is to remove non-relevant skills from your resume and only include skills that support your job objective and that an employer might use to find you.
Here’s another example:
- Let’s make up a fictitious skill called MightyTron 2000. You may have worked for a company and were trained and certified to use or operate their custom computers, software programs, machinery, etc. Basically, custom equipment that only your company uses and the rest of the world knows nothing about. Listing on your resume that you’re a certified expert with the MightyTron 2000 isn’t going add much credibility to your resume because it’s unknown to most of the world.
Think like an employer – would an employer search for someone with MightyTron 2000 experience? Probably not. So you need to equate your experience with the MightyTron 2000 to something else that is more relevant to your job objective and what employers are searching for.
Listing specific experience like MightyTron 2000 on your resume could actually backfire on you. What if your current employer is looking to hire new employees, and he searches for candidates with MightyTron 2000 experience? Guess what? Only one person shows up in the resume results page with MightyTron 2000 experience, and that person is you. Yikes! Your current employer just discovered that you are looking for a new job.
- Increase your chances of getting found in Career Builder and other job boards by creating an industry keyword rich resume and online profile.
- Make sure you attach your resume as Microsoft Word or (RTF) Rich Text Formatted document to your online profile.
- Make sure you create a nicely formatted online resume instead of a copy & paste text dump.
- Complete all sections of your Career Builder profile for maximum employer visibility.
- Update your online resume profile frequently to help keep it at the top of the search results.
- Title your online profile to match your job objective and don’t use your name.
- Having outdated skills on your resume is a waste of valuable space plus it signals to employers that your resume is out of date and that you don’t care enough to keep it updated.
Inside the Resume Masterpiece, I’ll cover these topics in greater detail…
- How employers perform Quick and Advanced searches
- How you should title your resume profile so it more appealing to employers
- How to use Categories to show up in more searches
- How to properly enter your years of experience so you are not excluded from job searches
- How to list your salary requirements so you are not overlooked