Part of the resume and cover letter center collection of articles.
Like it or not, we are all caught in the loop of modern technology. Place a call to your favorite store or banking institution, and you’re usually dealing with voicemail and automated menus, rather than reaching a real individual.
The same is now true when you send your résumé to the human resources department of major corporations (and in increasing numbers, hiring managers at smaller companies). Because hundreds or even thousands of individuals apply for one opening, software that is preset to determine applicant skills and qualifications is used to “weed out” those individuals who don’t match the job criteria.
Therefore, to make the most of a job search, it’s essential for the modern résumé to:
- Be in a format that can be read by optical character recognition (OCR) software, if the targeted company is using this tool.
- Contain essential keywords* related to the job opening or industry.
* Keywords are nouns or noun phrases that the software has been programmed to search for.The more keywords or “hits” the software finds in the résumé, the more likely the document will be read by a human resources professional.In fact, for some federal job openings, a résumé must have a 95% or higher hit rate if the candidate is to be given serious consideration—that is, a moment of the hiring authority’s time, and perhaps even an interview.
It doesn’t have to be when you know the tricks of the trade in creating this modern résumé. The essentials include:
- The technology you’ll be dealing with
- How to find keywords and make the most of them
- Your name
- Your contact information
- Which fonts are scanner friendly
- Formats to use
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