Are you buzzword compliant? Maybe that’s the problem – in the careers field they’re no longer called buzzwords. They’re called keywords, and without them, your résumé will slide into a black hole in cyberspace from which no search engine can find you.
Sounds dire, but getting the right words into your résumé is pretty simple according to Wendy Enelow, executive coach, résumé expert and author of more than 30 careers books including some on keywords and search engine optimization (SEO). “You can be the single most talented integrated-logistics manager but if you don’t have those words in your résumé you will get skipped over,” says the Virginia-based author.
To be clear, no one equates keywords with actual job experience or accomplishments. But in this highly competitive, technological age, the résumés that stand out are the ones that satisfy filtering software. As for keywords, says Enelow, they are no more or less complex than “nouns and noun-phrases that describe what you do every day in your position.”
According to Enelow, typical keywords for the $100,000+ executive include:
- Strategic Planning
- Organizational Leadership
- Profitability Improvement
- Performance Optimization
- New Business Development
- Joint Ventures & Alliances
- Consensus Building & Teaming
- Corporate Administration
- World Class Organization
- Best Practices & Benchmarking
- P&L Responsibility
- Multi-Site Operations
- Budgeting & Finance
But what if, like much of the job world, you’re not yet a $100,000+ executive? And what if you haven’t yet worked for, much less created a world-class organization? And what if you’re a school teacher or a nurse and you’re completely disinterested in P&L responsibility?
No worries, Enelow has an idea for you anyway. “Use the Objective to integrate the appropriate keywords into your résumé,” Enelow advises. “If you’re looking for a job in accounting, you write, ‘I’m seeking a position in a corporate accounting where I can develop skills in accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash management and financial reporting’. So the Objective can become an extremely valuable tool for people trying to transition from one career to another.”
Enelow, who’s latest book is The $100,000+ Entrepreneur, says that while keyword compliance is critical – it’s not the solution to your job search. Don’t count on corporate job boards to properly scan your keywords. Be sure to send – via e-mail or snail-mail – a copy of your résumé to the powers that be at the company where you’re applying to work.