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SEO is search engine optimization.
Any one who
a. builds a public web site and
b. wants it higher up in search results (in Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc)
goes through SEO exercise.

Same applies for your resume.

When you start your job search, you post your resume in a job board (Dice, Monster, etc).
Every job board uses a private search engine, to make sure recruiters can see your profile in search results.
Every search implementation has its individual features and quirks. But on a basic level, they all work in the same fashion.

SEO is about improving the ranking. If your resume shows up in the 23rd page of search result, nobody is looking at it.

To SEO you resume:

1. Make sure your resume has all the keywords that sufficiently describe your core skills. Add the right phrases that use the keywords. Add version information to all the skills. You can use a tool like this to automatically get the keywords from your resume. Use its results across all job boards.

2. Make sure it has all the related keywords. These are keywords that often appear in the context of your primary keywords. For instance, ‘SE38’ is primary keyword. “Debugger” is a related keyword.

3. Try not to cheat the search engines into boosting your resume. They are every bit tuned to find the right document. So your best bet is to organically grow your resume.Make sure it has sufficient occurrence of the primary skills. Less the number of occurrences, farther you are from the first page.

4. Maintain two versions: i.Searchable resume ii. Readable resume. More on this later.

5. Gather 20 job requirements that best fit your skills. Make sure your resume has all the keywords in the requirements.

Goodluck!

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6 Comments

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    1. Roger Supp Post author

      That is true Matt. The implementation is different.

      The various sections in the resume (relevant to keywords/skills) are profile name; skill summary; project details. But most job boards do not make a difference between the sections.

      Resume maintenance is often the most uninteresting part of a job search. But the minimal effort invested should be in the area of search optimization to make sure the resume is visible in job searches.

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  1. Jason Lax

    This is a good consideration for any job seeker. It’s also important to list yourself in the right directories, such as LinkedIn.

    ❗ People should also realize that their previous online activity is also findable (Facebook, Twitter, Forums, etc).

    One question I have is about keywords: how should job seekers find and validate keywords to target? It’s easy to rank highly for a keyword that isn’t often searched but difficult for one that is searched often.

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    1. Roger Supp Post author

      That is true Jason. Traditionally recruiters use Job Boards subscribed (and licensed for) by their respective consulting companies (like Dice.com). In recent times, recruiters are progressively using social networks (particularly professional ones like LinkedIn.com).

      So it is a good idea to maintain profiles in linkedin.com; sdn.com.

      We did an exhaustive research on keywords and their relevance to recruiter’s “candidate-search-habits”.
      Also the primary reason we built ERPandi.com centered around keywords.
      We try to use as much of LinkedIn profile details as possible.
      (much like deeperweb.com is based around google) …. more on this later.

      To answer your question on finding the keywords, the best approach is to organically grow resume. Maintain a “job journal” every day or week at work. A simple log of action items you worked on. Include the items of interaction with peers or other teams (functional, development, basis, security etc).

      You can grow it faster by researching on jobs posted in job boards. Find jobs that best fit your skill set. Verify if you have all the keywords in your resume.

      It also works the other way. It will also help you focus on related technical/functional area you want to groom your skills.

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  2. Jill Benet

    Most job requirements are vague or require whole lot of skills, like across skill areas. Does the resume need to have all of these keywords to be picked up by recruiters.

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    1. Roger Supp Post author

      You are right Jill.

      Clients often try to get all the skills/expertise (from unrelated skill areas) in one single resource request.

      You have to use discretion in identifying the related keywords and phrases that applies to your core skills.

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