4 Things SEO Taught Me About Résumé Writing

Of the things I swore I’d never do in 2005, writing résumés for technology professionals topped my list.  

Yet, while 85% of my business is outside the San Francisco Bay Area, living here has tricked me into writing technology résumés after all; such that writing for tech now accounts for roughly 40% of my overall work.

It’s all due to my acquiescing under a friend’s referral pressure. Which led to another. And another.

But something happened as I carved out an unexpected specialty.

Technology started teaching me.

From my own Google AdWords optimization, to learning about how a Web site is ranked by keyword algorithms, to the use of natural keywords, I’ve learned a few tricks. And they’re surprisingly helpful when it comes to résumé design.

Here are four:

1. Get to the Point:

Short attention spans reign in the Internet age, with most of us giving up and clicking on the next link if a site’s writer doesn’t get to the point within a paragraph or two.

Get our résumé into the A-pile by getting to the point quickly with clearly categorized skills, pithy accomplishments, and fact- / number-based evidence supporting your candidacy.

2. Make it Scannable:

Whether by computers, subject matter experts, or inexperienced admins, your résumé should tell your reader at a glance who you are and what your intentions are. Google AdWords does this by forcing advertisers to restrict their product and service ads to three short lines.

Big lessons there from a top-level perspective on your résumé.

What is your essence? Your 20 second elevator pitch? Better have it somewhere easily readable on your résumé – and better make it relevant to your intended reader.

3. Make it Keyword-based: 

Looking for a strawberry picker, not a kiwi picker? Your candidates had better not use the wrong keywords, because “fruit picker” might be overlooked or misunderstood.

Are you a generalist? Dig in and find / list where your experience intersects with the hiring entity. Then exploit it.

Specialist? Niche it out and show how it fits in the bigger picture.

4. Be Reader-specific: 

The biggest change in advertising is the shift from advertisers telling us what we should want, to consumers telling advertisers what they want.

Hence the proliferation of niche markets.

By the same token, résumés are no longer one-size-fits all. The exhausting job of thinking, typing (on a typewriter), and photocopying 100 résumé copies has been replaced by the need to match a hiring managers needs über closely.

A hybrid résumé – half chronological, half functional – presents the ideal solution.

Until next time!

Jared Redick
Visit: The Resume Studio.com
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Connect: LinkedIn.com/in/jaredredick
Call: 415-397-6640

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