By Tim Klepaczyk
Technology is often a double-edged sword. The Internet enables job-seekers to find more opportunities, but one then often faces much more competition. Given the constant pressure for all to do more in the workplace, HR professionals can be overwhelmed by huge numbers of resumes.
To ease this workload companies often review resumes with another technology, electronic scanners. Fortunately, automated processes are often predictable, and there are methods you can apply to improve your chances of getting through this screen. Here’s one approach.
Get familiar with the website http://www.wordle.net/. Wordle creates “word clouds” – visual depictions of groups of words dependent on the number of times they appear or some other parameter. Select the “Create” link from the top-level page of Wordle. A text-entry box appears. When applying for a job, copy-and-paste the relevant job description into this text entry box.
Wordle will create a word cloud you can use to customize your resume. The most frequent words in the job description will be the largest words in the word cloud. Carefully consider how to modify your resume appropriately to incorporate these words, remembering that the resume must eventually also read sensibly for human eyes. As a first step though the more these words are incorporated in your resume, the more likely you can get your resume past the electronic screen.
If you don’t want to customize your resume for every job description, try this instead. Find a half-dozen or more job descriptions for similar opportunities. Create a word cloud for each one. Record the top ten words from each word cloud in a consolidated text document, then create a word cloud from *that* group of words. This will yield the most useful words for customizing your resume more generally to the types of positions you’re seeking.
Tim Klepaczyk is an RF & microwave engineer with over 20 years of experience in applications & sales and product design & validation. He also loves writing.
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