I live in a world dripping with keywords and phrases.
Actually, we all do. Think the billboard you drive by every morning isn’t precisely written? That Google search you just performed isn’t engineered within an inch of its life?
Everyone knows that advertising and marketing has been turned on its ear in little more than a decade.
Bye bye subscription rates, content is king.
The same has become true for résumés, particularly résumés that are first taken for a spin through a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) before ever being seen by a human being.
Without the right mix of keywords, the résumé may never be seen by anyone.
And don’t forget LinkedIn. Without carefully chosen keywords and phrases, you risk being missed in a sea of 150 million users.
But in my practice, I regularly see confusion around keywords.
For example, I regularly ask my clients for the top 8-12 keywords and phrases they think we should build copy around. We use job descriptions to help make the decision, and we revisit the notion throughout the engagement. Clarity comes with revision after revision.
Oddly, no matter the client’s background — no matter his or her skill or seniority — they inevitably come back with first-round words like this:
(The funny thing about using the word “innovative” is that its use is anything but … but that’s a topic for another blog post!) (more…)