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Stop Calling Yourself an 'Entrepreneur' – and Other Resume Keyword Tips From a 'Resume Psychologist'

Stop Calling Yourself an 'Entrepreneur' – and Other Resume Keyword Tips From a 'Resume Psychologist'
From Recruiter - September 19, 2016

Dirk Spencera recruiter and author whose insights have appeared in numerous articles on our site and othersis serious about resume keywords. Hes so serious he runs a free class on them, and he recently turned that class into a book, Resume Keywords Decoded and Demystified: Hack the Resume Black Hole.

Spencer has every right to be concerned aboutresume keywords. In fact, job seekers would have an easier time landing jobs if they were as concerned about keywords as Spencer is. In todays technologically driven world, almost every single resume a candidate sends to an employer will have to get through an ATS firstand that ATS will base its entire evaluation of the resume on keywords.

Furthermore, in the increasingly rare instance that no ATS is present, the recruiters and hiring managers reading the resume will also be looking for keywords that prove the candidate is connected to the industry and current in their skills and knowledge.

I spoke with Spencer, an expert in what he calls resume psychology,aboutResume Keywords Decoded and Demystified and some of the major lessons the book holds for job seekers. Below is a transcript of our conversation, minimally edited for style and clarity:

Recruiter.com:As you point out in the book, we often talk about resume keywords, but we rarely explain the why or how of the matter. Why do you think that is?

Dirk Spencer:One of my account managers once said to me, Our job is finding candidatesnot resume education. Thatsounds harsh, but every recruiter has a story where they offered help to a candidate about their resume only to have the candidate complain to their management. This makes us reluctant to share what we know.

RC:Why do so many career coaches, resume experts, andeven outlets like RecruiterTodayseem to gloss over this very important information?

DS:Two words: immediate feedback. We have access to hiring managers,ATSs, and job boards. We can test and retest keywords in less than a few seconds. In literally the time it takes to type a few words and press the enter key, we have immediate feedback. Dislike the search results? Bang out a few new words and press enter again. More immediate feedback.

We never think to share this trial-and-error method of learning with people outside our profession.

RC:You mention that resume keywords exist at the intersection of four areas. Three of these areas are pretty self-explanatory, but there was one I was surprised to see: Anthropology and History. Can you expand on that idea a little? How do anthropology and history factor into our resume keywords?

DS:I had a candidate say to me, Sales is sales [sic]. This statement, fair or not, suggested she had not changed or evolved her sales methods during her career.



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