More answers to Top 5 Resume Mistakes That Say “Don’t Hire Me”.
“Responsible for” Is Not Good Resume Writing
The question of whether a job seeker is “responsible for” something is old news for resume writers. We know not to include that type of language. It’s boring. It doesn’t describe anything active or with an outcome. It sounds like a copy-and-paste from the person’s human resources job posting. I am not going to retread that information. If you want more about that, see this article on 7 Words You Can’t Say in a Resume. It’s always been one of my favorite—and most popular—posts. I’m not going to retread it here.
Resume SEO Means Fewer, More Powerful Language
Resume SEO—a new phrase that is hitting the forefront and capturing the attention of career coaches and professional resume writers alike. Job seekers, too, need to pay attention to resume SEO. One of the best ways you as a job seeker can do this is by making sure that your resume language has power per total words. That’s not an actual measure, of course, but it should give you something to think about as you review your own resume language.
Resume SEO for Applicant Tracking Systems
Preptel.com has cornered the market on this strategy. The service enables job seekers to upload their resume and compare it to job postings, word for word. This is what a good professional resume writer does with hand and brain, but the challenge remains the same. Job seeker resumes need to have the right language within the text, so that they are picked up by human resources applicant tracking systems (think: online applications) via the search algorithms that pull up potential candidates. In simpler terms, a marketing executive resume isn’t going to be selected for an electrical engineering position—the phrases that describe a marketing executive simply don’t apply to the technical aspects of electrical engineering. In more complex terms, a marketing executive resume needs to have specific phrases that will be picked up by the search engine algorithm as matches for what a job posting is looking for.
Resume SEO for Human Readers
On the other hand, some humans—Salt Lake City, Utah recruiters, hiring managers of small businesses, and others—do read resumes with their own eyes. The more focused the language is and the more relevant the wording is, the more likely that human will evaluate the resume more closely. Fluffy, nonspecific language won’t make the grade, but highly technical, relevant wording will impress these very human brains with very specific problems they need to solve with a new hire.
What Does Resume SEO Have to Do with “Responsible for”?
SEO in broad terms can be thought of as having the right language in the right place for the right reader. Resume SEO is the same, as I explained above. Job seekers who use “responsible for” in every bullet of their resumes are adding two times the number of total bullets more words than are necessary—which dilutes the value of the words that are in there that are relevant. Simply by removing the words that a) add no technical value (again see 7 Words You Can’t Say in a Resume) and b) are simply fluffy extras will dilute your resume’s total impact on a hiring manager, recruiter, or applicant tracking system.
Learn why your executive resume isn’t making the cut: Top 5 Resume Mistakes That Say “Don’t Hire Me”