About two years ago, an executive client looked over my desk, pointed to a job description, and asked, “Jared, what do you think of these keywords?”
I said, “Do you have those skills?” (We’d been at this a while.)
“No,” he said.
“Well, then we can’t include them,” I replied.
It seems we’ve all fallen so concerned (perhaps rightly) with building our websites, blogs, and career copy around keywords and phrases, that we might have lost our collective sensibilities!
Why would an otherwise smart professional ask such an apparently silly question?
Truth is, my client hadn’t lost his mind. When you’re in the thick of writing a really great résumé or LinkedIn summary—or any other chunk of career copy—it’s hard to strike a balance between pushing the envelope and totally losing sight of the big picture, while making sure to clear today’s technology hurdles.
Trouble is, if you’re stretching the truth—or straight up lying—you’re not representing yourself authentically. Plus, the blowback can more than chafe. Who can forget this unfortunate-ness?
The lesson? Next time you’re writing your résumé, optimize the heck out of it. Include the right keywords and phrases. Just don’t forget to take a step back every now and then to be sure you’re including keywords and phrases that are truly yours.
Until next time!