How many times have you been told not to use the same old cliché sayings in your CV? How many times have you heard that employers are tired of reading repetitive, regurgitated CV’s and want unique and original copy? Too many times to count I imagine… Well, ignore everything you’ve been told – things have changed!
Once again, computers have stepped in and the process has changed. It’s now much more monotonous, thousands of CV’s are scanned at once, and there’s no time to waste being creative and eye catching here. It’s time to follow the herd and make sure your CV makes the cut.
There is an art to keyword cramming in your CV and James Baker of Vivid Resourcing is here to show you how.
So how does it work? You e-mail across your CV, it’s placed on to a database with thousands of others and a computer program is used to pick out the CV’s with specific keywords, and these are the CV’s that are passed to HR.
Make Sure You Get The Job
Here are some tips to help your CV make the cut.
1. Copy Their Advert
It’s more than likely the keywords the company is looking for are the very ones that they have included in their advert for the position. Don’t copy the advert word-for-word on to your CV, as at some point your CV will be read by human eyes. But if you can make a list of keywords they’ve used (if they apply to you) and figure out how to squeeze them in to your CV, this will help you pass the first stage screen test.
2. Visit Their Website
Their website is going to be jam-packed full of keywords that they associate with the company, such as their values. If your CV has keywords and their values match up they’re going to want you on their team.
3. Seek Out Other Industry ‘Ads’
Take a look online for similar jobs advertised within the same industry. You’re going to see the same keywords crop up time and time again. These are the words you want to be including in your CV. It’s best to review a large selection of adverts and to note down as many keywords as possible. The more you can match up with the employers’ computer program, the better your chances.
4. Read Up On Industry News
Gather as many trade journals as you can find, paperback or online, and read up on what’s going on in your industry. The more informed you are the more likely that you will have just the keywords they’re looking for. If there are new developments or industry trends that you spot, gather keywords around this, these are the kind of keywords that will get your CV to the top of the pile.
5. Include Power Keywords
This is something, historically, we’ve always included within our CV’s, however, after a backlash from various recruitment advice posts, was told this was a ‘no no.’ This is because candidates were promised that, if they used certain words, they would get the job. Then, suddenly the same key phrases were included in thousands of CV’s, resulting in a very laborious task for the HR department. This new way of including keywords requires a little more attention to detail. Do your homework, and include leadership and teamwork keywords that apply to your industry. This way you’re not just reeling off the bog-standard catchphrases of the past, but are being industry specific, and tailoring to your job role.
6. Search For Industry Professionals On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for establishing the keywords for your CV because it’s full of industry professionals. Their profiles will provide clues as to what your potential employers are looking for. Take a look at a handful of industry leaders’ profiles, and take note of any important words that crop up in each of their pages.
Ideally, you want a summary at the beginning of your CV with your skill set, which includes the keywords you have established using the above points. This gives the computer system and ultimately the interviewer easy access to the keywords. You then want to repeat the keywords throughout the CV, just in case they aren’t picked up initially.
Remember though, your CV will be read by human eyes eventually and you want it to make sense and read well.
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