Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the “magic” that causes a web page to have a good position in search results. It’s not really magic, but methodical research into search behavior and application of best practices to improve your site’s chances.
This can be done during job hunting, too. The first step is to understand what your desired audience is looking for.
The base component of SEO is a search term, also called a keyword phrase. For local businesses, this is usually the “what” and “where” of how customers look for them. This is true also for job seekers.
On your regional news sites like NJ.com, or national job boards like Career Builder or Monster Jobs, or a career social network like LinkedIn, employers are using specific words and phrases to describe what they want in a candidate, and what type of position they have available.
A careful study of these related job listings will reveal the commonly used wording. Highlight or make a list of the commonly used phrases that describe what you do, leaving out annoying ‘BS’ phrases like “self starter”. The more specific the better.
You’ve probably got your resume up on LinkedIn, and no doubt you’ve noticed the “objective” area near the top. That is a good prep for the SEO push.
Editor in Watchung NJ
Why not add some descriptors to narrow down what kind of editor you are? If you’re like me, you’d rather not go back to working 5 pm – 2 pm on a newspaper copy desk because the hours and pay suck, unless you’re the best like my friend Jon Briggs.
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You’re looking for the way prospective bosses you’d like to work for describe the skills and positions you’d like to do.
There is a code to it, specific words that are used and that are searched by bosses and headhunters when they are looking through a resume database for YOU. Hint: the words to use aren’t “self starter”. Self starter at what?
Fast, accurate headline writer
Just like in SEO, you have to think like your target audience and use those same words in your own resume and cover letter.
That gets you found, but then you have to convert that search result into a request for a phone interview.
So your resume should be fresh and focused on your most relevant accomplishments, and your cover letter should be brief and friendly, focusing on why you thought you’d be a good fit.
At each stage you need a strategy for standing out.
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