By On Dec 28, 2019 Resume
This is one of the most common areas of confusion, so I will state it once again...the content of a keyword resume does not need to differ from the content of your traditional resume. With careful attention to rhythm and flow, it is possible to prepare a resume that is keyword optimized, but that also includes the powerful, compelling, active language of a traditional resume. Not only will this simplify your resume preparation, but it will ensure that the content of all versions of your resume will be optimized for both the computer and the human reader. Furthermore, if you incorporate a professional summary and bulleted list of qualifications in the text of your resume, there is little if any need to prepare a separate keyword summary.
Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth, especially when it comes to the first screening. With hundreds and potentially thousands of resume to review, recruiters will typically give a resume short shrift on the first pass, as they attempt to cull the numbers to a manageable level. It would seem that when it comes to early resume screening, it is rather a case of wham bam than a considered get to know you. In all probability, a recruiter will look at a resume and decide within the first minute, often within thirty seconds, whether to accept or reject a resume. Due to the sheer volume of applications, employers and recruiters simply dont have time to carefully review all resume first time around. They are actively looking to cull back the list of potential candidates, and will ruthlessly weed out those resume that fall short of their expectations.
My advice is simply to check and double-check your work. Better yet, also get a third-party to proofread your resume. You would be surprised how often someone else picks up an issue in your resume that you have missed. For many individuals I would suggest getting some form of help with your resume evaluation. This can be as simple as getting someone you know and trust to review your document, or perhaps enlisting the services of a professional resume writer. A resume writer can add significant value for many reasons, including poor grasp of language, intermittent work history, returning to the workforce after a long break or simply looking for an edge over the competition.
Traditional resumes are designed, as already noted, to compel the human reader, through persuasive language and design, to take further action and call you for an interview. Layout and page design are critical and should be planned strategically to draw the eye to areas of emphasis. The most effective traditional resumes are focused on achievements and written in powerful, active language that captures and holds the attention of the reader. Scannable resumes -- also a printed, hardcopy format -- are designed primarily for accurate scanning into a computer. Captured as an image, scannable resumes are fed through OCR (optical character recognition) software that reads and extracts the text. The extracted text is databased for storage and later recalled by keyword from an applicant tracking system. Scannable resumes are very rarely requested any more. If you are asked for a scannable resume, the most efficient option is to email the requestor your plain ASCII text resume (described next).
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