Keywords Versus Power Words. Which One Wins?

All my clients are super sharp people. Without exception, each one is highly trained, skilled and has a multitude of excellent achievements to their credit. You can be an intelligent person and still get tripped up by keywords. In fact, most of my clients are on the right track when they come to me – meaning that their resume has a good portion of quality content and, what I like to refer to as, power words.

Power words and industry phraseology are important on a resume. A hiring manager must believe you know the industry or role you are submitting your resume for, after all. It is important not to mistake power words for keywords. Keywords, like the hiring and resume industry, are constantly changing. Therefore, each new resume requires complete, fresh, industry and position-specific keyword research.

Keywords need to be included throughout your resume and cover letter. Keywords specific to your target position / industry are populated in the applicant tracking system (ATS). If you do not have the right mix of keywords in your resume, ATS filters you out and your resume is not seen by a human being. Similarly, if your format and content aren’t visually engaging when your resume makes it through ATS, the hiring manager will not add your resume to the stack for interview.

Without keywords, you don’t stand a chance. No chance of your resume being seen. No chance of be invited to interview. No chance at landing the job. Keywords win.

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Do What You Love

Are you doing what you love? Yes, I mean in your career. But, also, in your personal life? Many of us need to take a job in order to get experience to build toward the career we will love. Work, though, doesn’t have to be what you love, as long as you are able to pay the bills – and afford to do a little of what you love / are passionate about. in your personal time.

If you want to see an unhappy person, look for the person who isn’t doing what they love. Get creative. Perhaps you love volunteering (incidentally, volunteering frequently leads people to jobs and, the careers they love). Maybe it’s planning and you buy and work in a planner that helps you organize your family’s lives. It might be playing a sport, or reading, or learning. Whatever you are passionate about, make a little time in your life to do it each week.

As the phases of your life come and go, so too will your passions. Take inventory and adjust for the new passion in your life in each phase. Just make sure you are making a little time to dabble in your passion each week. You will find you feel more fulfilled and happier – and I am pretty sure this is what people are talking about when they say, “Make sure you take time for you.”

For those out there able to mingle their passion and career, congratulations. You are way ahead of the rest of us, but we’re getting there! 

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What is the Biggest Obstacle to Getting Hired? – Part 1

In my experience,the answer to this question is twofold – so be sure to tune in for Part 2! For now, the obstacle I want you to consider in your career search is… you. There have been many times my clients have come back to me and shared stories of how the interview got the better of them. It could be going into the interview unprepared and/or not researching the company, but, in most cases, it’s a lack of confidence that I see holding those few candidates back.

Regardless of why you are looking for a new career, if you made it through ATS to the interview,your resume is doing its job. Now, its your turn. So, shake off that layoff, those doubts about your skill set aligning perfectly with the job posting or feelings of inferiority because you have been managing your household and every fundraiser at your kids’ school for the last several years. Sing that rock ballad that makes you feel like the rock star you are and nail that interview.

 If you have been invited to interview, you have already beat out hundreds of candidates to be the average 1 in 5 interviewees, per job. Your achievements, consistent track record of exceeding expectations and repeated successes have already impressed the hiring manager and laid a strong foundation for you to build on in your interview with the organization. Know what the company is about, be confident in how you fit in and let that shine through in your interview.

Not getting interviews? Then your resume isn’t doing its job. Take a hard look at your resume to see if it is visually interesting, makes you stand out and accurately reflects what you have achieved in your career. Does your resume help you outshine your competition? If not, it’s time for re-write. Or, to just give me call.

Thanks so much for reading and subscribing! Talk soon.