Originally posted 2015-06-01 12:58:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
“So this SEO guy walks into a bar, grill, pub, public house, night club, Irish bar, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor, shots, booze…”
You read Bad Resume Guy and took the advice in it.
You’ve got multiple versions of your resume at the ready.
You think you’re all set, but you’re not getting the responses or the traction with it that you hoped you would.
I guess it’s time to talk about Search Engine Optimization, because it’s not just for websites folks…
About two and a half years ago, I wrote “Don’t Be That Guy: Bad Resume Guy“.
If you haven’t read that yet, you should hop over to http://www.ITinTheD.com/101/bad-resume-guy/ and do so, since that’s the foundation of what I’m going to talk about here.
Specifically, we talked about that ‘raw’ version of your resume – the one you use for blind submissions into companies. Well, it’s also the one that you’ll want to keep on your LinkedIn profile, out on whatever job searching sites that you’re using, attached to a personal website you may have, and the like – for the same reason that you have a ‘raw’ resume to begin with – maximizing your chance of being found. Your resume gets scanned into a Candidate Tracking System of some sort, or the LinkedIn search engine hits your profile, or Monster’s engine comes through and hits all of the resumes, or Google’s spider hits your site and indexes it.
So how do you help improve the odds that you’ll be found?
Welcome to the world of Search Engine Optimization, or just simply “SEO”.
It’s a term or phrase that, even if you’re not familiar with it, you’ve probably heard thrown around the office by the web team, or you’ve at least seen it/heard it/read it somewhere before.
It’s how websites try and get to the top of the search results on engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., without paying for it, and it’s also how you can help improve the chances that your resume will be the one that pops up when a recruiter goes hunting for someone with your skillset for a job they’ve got open.
So how do you do it? You have to think like someone trying to find you, that’s how.
Now, this isn’t always the easiest thing to do – you have to basically not be you here. You have to not think like you think, you have to not know what you know, and you have to pretend like you don’t do what you do day to day.
Because the people looking to hire you don’t think like you think, they don’t know what you know, and they don’t do what you do day to day.
You may realize that “certified project management professional” and “PMP certification” are the same thing…but a computer doesn’t.
You may realize that “ASP” and “Active Server Pages” are the same thing…but a computer doesn’t.
You may realize that “LAMP experience” and “proficient with linux”, “experienced apache administrator”, “MySQL dba” and “PhP developer” all appearing on your resume in various locations are the same thing…but, again, yep – a computer doesn’t.
And the recruiter or sourcer at a company who’s been told to go find “someone with LAMP experience” is not likely someone who’s going to have any clue about linux, apache, MySQL or PhP either. They just won’t. It’s not their fault, it’s not what they do day to day…so it’s on you to make sure you’ve got that raw version of your resume optimized for them to find it when they go hunting. So take that extra time to make sure that you’ve got “.Net”, “dot net”, “Microsoft programming languages”, “asp.net”, “developer”, “coder”, “programmer”, and other similar terms all spelled out explicitly on that raw version of your resume, because you just don’t know when someone’s going to get told “Go find me a .net developer” or “I need an asp.net programmer”, or “I need a Microsoft coder”.
While you may realize that having a gig on your resume where you were coding with struts likely means that you were working in a J2EE environment, probably means you were dealing with servlets and JSPs, and that you most likely were dealing with builds, deployments, maybe ant or war files, blah blah blah…well, remember all those times Google has pissed you off by bringing back bad results, or when you’ve messed up a database index and couldn’t get the result set you were expecting? Yeah, same thing. Spell it out, and again, make sure you do so in a way that maximizes your chances of being found. For instance – when I wrote “JSP” up there, you probably (even if just subconsciously) said “Java Server Pages” to yourself. Make sure both terms are in your resume.
Again – it’s not about what you know or take for granted as “common knowledge” at this point. Remember that you’re dealing with various computer systems here, and that the data coming out can only be as good as the data going in.
Which is also why the same rules apply from Bad Resume Guy – you don’t lie, you don’t put stuff on there that has nothing to do with you, your skills or your abilities. Because the last thing you want is to get a phone call from a recruiter about a job that you have no business getting called about…because oh yes, they’ll remember you…and not in a good way.