One of the first things I tell prospective clients who have received job huntingÃ‚Â advice elsewhere before coming to me is that a lot of job search is unscientific — what one person likes, another thinks is useless. A good example is the cover letter debate. Some recruiters expect a cover letter, others believe they are a waste of time. The fact that opinions vary about “right and wrong” is clear in resume-ology as well. The fact is, there is no absolute right way. There are best practices, and the rest is up to the job seeker or resume writer.
So, when I was speaking to a prospective client who told me he had been to a LinkedIn workshop and had his resume reviewed, I asked him to share a bit about what he had already learned, as I never want to confuse a job seeker from the get go with contradicting information.
Then, he told me that someone had advised him to suggest he was a “seasoned” professional in the headline of his resume. That’s when my coaching self control hit a road bump and I knew I needed to explain why he should not say he was “seasoned.”
I asked, “Are you a French fry?” (Actually, I didn’t really ask that. But, our discussion did hone in on that question.) Think about it: what is the chance that anyone has included the word seasoned in his or her applicant tracking system software (that scans resumes and helps identify the best ones) as a “grab this person if you find him” word? I’m thinking not very many.
I explained to the prospective client that it is so important to choose each word on the resume based on 1) the fact that it describes you (the job seeker) and clearly outlines what you have to offer (your skills and accomplishments – as they relate to the employer’s needs) and 2) the chance that the employer has flagged that keyword as important for the job.
Think about this when you get advice about your resume. Don’t just blindly incorporate information or words because someone mentioned them — think about what those words will be doing to help you get where you want to go.
Stay tuned for more advice about writing targeted job search materials!
photo by Gudlyf