By Elaine Mead
With the increasing focus on all things digital, it could be time to reconsider those two sides of A4 your once spent hours meticulously writing, googling tips about how to write, and re-writing.
The traditional resume hasn’t died just yet, but how it’s used has definitely changed and is continuing to do so. It’s time to rethink how you use your resume to ensure it’s getting in front of the right people and scoring you interviews.
Searchability and keywords are key
In the early days, the best way for an employer to compare potential candidates was by having a bunch of resumes in front of them. A resume provided an overview of someone’s experience, skills and academic achievements in order to see who was a better or worse fit for the role. From this, employers could create their interviewee shortlist.
Nowadays, a resume is less about selling yourself and more of a way for employers and recruiters to find and screen candidates. When seeking out potential candidates on online job databases, recruiters and employers will search for specific keywords, job titles and skills, then use the results to create a shortlist. For many jobs, applications are scanned for keywords to create the first shortlist of candidates, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re using the correct keywords, titles and skills.
You can create a competent list of the keywords you should be using by referring to the full job description, and if you’re putting your resume into an online database, make sure you use a few different job ads for the same roles so you can build a bigger list of keywords.
Be prepared for the ‘digital interview’
It's no secret that employers will look up candidates online. Your resume might still be the baseline requirement that will be taken into account when an employer is weighing up whether to hire your or not, but you can be quite certain they'll be conducting a 'digital interview' – looking up what they can find out about you online – as well.
It’s no longer about just being on LinkedIn. Employers will want to see recommendations from past employers and colleagues, as well as details of the projects you worked on and what your output and achievement from these were. Employers want new recruits who are engaged and active in their chosen field or industry. Sharing — or better yet, writing — an article or two on your area of expertise will showcase your enthusiasm for your work.
Having a well-maintained profile filled with relevant content can help build your credibility to potential employers, and also demonstrate you as a contributor and influencer within your chosen field.
Elaine Mead is a Careers and Work-Integrated Learning Educator based in Tasmania.