Job Search Basics

Job Search Basics

When was the last time you were job hunting?  Last week we heard from an anxious reader who hasn’t had to look for a job in over ten years and – because so much has changed in the last decade- was asking for resume advice.

This won’t be a surprise but, technology has changed the way we do everything, and the way resumes are reviewed and handled during the hiring process is no exception.  Instead of coming in as a hard-copy in snail-mail, then reviewed and sorted by human eyes, resumes are now mostly submitted as attachments to emails or to online applications.

This is especially true in large employers who receive loads of resumes.

Resumes are then “read” by an applicant-tracking software, which looks for keywords, and then attempts to “rank”  the resume to save time for the human whose eyes will then review those resumes that are the closest match to what the job requires.

This means your resume should have a digitally friendly format and font (Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, are safe), and should include terms and keywords the software might be looking for in the applicant pool.

 The best way to find those keywords is to look at the job advertisement or posting and replicate the words.  For example, if the job requires knowledge in a certain software, or certification in a certain field, make sure you use the same exact terminology in your resume.

But there are still plenty of companies out there that don’t have that level of automation, and an actual person reviews resumes, giving each one a quick read -usually less than one minute. It is for those human eyes that it’s also important for you to also customize and summarize.

Customize resume and cover letter for each job.   Outline how previous experience/skills are applicable or transferable to the vacant job.  It’s okay to give fewer or no details about jobs that are unrelated.

Summarize – Many people overload their resume because they feel this is their one chance to show their stuff.  But with sites like the job of the resume is simply to convince the reviewer that you’re a viable, qualified candidate, and there’s much more about you to be found online.

Good luck!

©Copyright Eva Del Rio

Eva Del Rio is creator of HR Box™ – tools for small businesses and startups. Send questions to


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