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Job Search Terms – What is that? Don’t I Just Apply for the Job I Want?

Job Search Terms – What is that? Don’t I Just Apply for the Job I Want?

NO – that is the long and short of it.

Recruiters – agency or in-house all use key words and search terms when sourcing for resumes. Where are they looking these days? Beyond Careerbuilder, Monster and the industry specific job boards you are posting, we are also looking at Indeed (yes you can post your resume to Indeed), LinkedIn, Google and Google+, Facebook Branch Out, the list goes on and on. So first be sure that you are present and accounted for on all of the sites. Next, you need to really look strongly at your resume. This can be very overwhelming, I know. I have hundreds of tips and suggestions for resume but for this we are going to stick to key words and search terms.

There are lots of posts on this topic and you should by now understand that recruiters and hiring managers use similar search technology (that is more sophisticated) that you might use to find a fine dining restaurant in Seattle that is kid friendly and has a vegan menu. The point is that we are looking for is something very specific and with some work and adjustments in our search can typically find what we are looking for whether it is a restaurant or a SVP of Sales in Finance or an Administrative Assistant with Direct Marketing experience.

The key is to review job descriptions that you find yourself qualified for, don’t worry if the company, location or compensation are right, just look for well detailed job descriptions for which you are qualified and review them for key words. I will use what would appear to be a very simple job title, Administrative Assistant, which returned 44k results on Indeed. Just by looking at job titles some stand out to me that you want review and be sure you have in your resume right away. If they don’t apply, please don’t compromise your integrity by adding them.

Key word examples for Administrative Assistant:

  • Titles: Executive, Senior, International, Global, Operations Coordinator, Support
  • Tasks/Skills: Travel Arrangements, Organization, Calender Management, Correspondence, Marketing, Bookkeeping, Order Supplies, Inventory Management, Planning, Meeting Set up, Virtual Meetings, Coordination, Proposals, Call Routing, Filing
  • Software: Word, Excel, Go2Meeting, Visio, Outlook, HTML
  • Industry Specific Titles/Software/Tasks/Certificates: Be sure to use the acronym and the spelled out versions of certificates and programs in your resume. Are you a legal secretary and have your ALS be sure to write it out as well. If you have a customized software system put the description in parenthesis after the title of it, example: Bullhorn (applicant tracking system)

When you are reviewing the descriptions and relaying the information back to your resume be clear and quick to the point. Don’t use an excessive amount of wordy sentences. Be sure that your resume is something that can be skimmed over quickly and has the key points requested in most descriptions. If you are applying for an industry specific position such as legal, medical/healthcare, IT, manufacturing, accounting/finance be sure and add industry specific key words and details at minimum in your objective or purpose statements.

TIP: The more key words you have that match our search string the higher to the top of the list you will appear!

image borrowed from Wiley

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The Dreaded Cover Letter

The Dreaded Cover Letter

It is getting to that spooky time of year and one of the most frightening pieces to the puzzle for a recruiter and job seeker alike? A poorly executed cover letter. There are all types of schools of thought on the cover letter, including whether you include it or not? Well, as a rule, a cover letter is a good opportunity for you as an applicant to assist the recruiter or hiring manager with sharing why you are a good fit for the job using cliff notes. This is not an essay or a sale presentation, this is a brief introductory document that is informative and engaging.

If you are not getting calls re: your resume you could be getting beat out at the starting gate, especially if your work history is not strong or you are competing for a highly sought after position. You could be making some very simple but fatal errors. I will be brief as to what not to include:

  • Spelling errors
  • Grammatical errors
  • To Whom it may concern:
  • Addressing the incorrect company
  • Being vague and nondescript
  • Being too brief
  • Too long-winded
  • Copying your objective statement from your resume
What are we looking for? Substance. Direct impact statements that are specific to the job and your experience. Drawing parallels between what you have done and what the job requires. I recently had the pleasure of reading a very good cover letter and it was extremely refreshing. I was engaged in the first 2-3 sentences, there were bullets that drew the parallels with quantitative facts and it addressed the job specifically. It peaked my interest and made me want to learn more.
Have you ever read a book and gotten through the first 2 or 3 chapters and just felt like the book was going nowhere? What is the difference between that book and one you don’t put down from the very start? You are drawn in and intrigued, there is a curiosity that is evoked that makes you want to learn more. What is it that you can quickly and briefly share that will keep us engaged? It is challenge for sure but it truly can make or break you if your current cover letter is weak you might be better of leaving it out.
I recommend keeping your cover letter under 300 words, have 2-3 quantitative or impact statements that you place in bulleted form prior to your conclusion statement. If you state that you will be contacting them in the next week, be sure and put it in your calendar and follow through.

Have You Automated Your Job Search Too Much

Have You Automated Your Job Search Too Much

We have the ability to get all kinds of jobs emailed to us daily or weekly from places like Careerbuilder, Monster, Flip Dog, and Indeed, but my question is are you even looking at these and responding appropriately?



Why? Because completing the application is only 1 part of the process. Let me refresh your memory:

  1. Find a job you are interested in applying for.
  2. Research via LinkedIn & the web more information about the company, department & HR
  3. Review your resume against the job description and be sure that at least 4-5 of the key points of the description match your resume. If not add them in (if you have the skills & experience)
  4. Be sure that you have the minimum qualifications that they are asking for
  5. Take the key points & any qualifications you have above the minimum and compose a cover letter that includes one or 2 fast facts from the research you did as to why this is a good fit for you & vice versa.
  6. Send resume & cover letter per their request method
  7. Follow up in one week with a voicemail or email stating the date you sent your application/resume, your x years experience and that fast fact you included in your resume. Keep your voicemail to under 60 seconds and include your phone number.
  8. Connect with the hiring manager or HR professional on LinkedIn and be sure to point out that they can get a sneak peak at your references on LinkedIn if they would like.
Phew… See, I kept it under 10 but it is a lot of work. This is for every job that you are truly interested in getting an interview with. I know it is overwhelming and you are tired of getting your hopes up just to loose out in the final interview stages to another candidate. If you are getting calls for interviews and making it that far it is purely a matter of fit for that particular company which you cannot take personally. If you are making it to second round, you are doing all the right things, I promise or they wouldn’t have called you back after they saw your resume or after the phone interview or after the first face2face.
Don’t just rely on exchanging emails with your Smartphone, one out of 1,000 jobs are most likely gotten this way (I just made that number up but I really think it is true).

Tired, Depressed, Miserable: Sorry That Position Has Already Been Filled

Did you ever just want to stop moving forward? Feel like you are just spinning your wheels but not gaining traction? Are you the person that is bringing your team down or do you work with someone who is bringing you down?  Are you resentful in the office or in your job search?
This type of attitude makes me crazy. I really can’t comprehend it and see know real place for it therefore the following may be a bit harsh, so if you aren’t in the mood for a push this morning,  I would stop here.
This is a get off your tail and do something about it or stop complaining and get to work message brought to you by me! We are all tired, depressed, miserable, etc… somedays, but not every day, not even the majority of the time we are at work, that is just ridiculous! Whether we are gainfully employed, in between jobs, one of the 99ers, or nearing retirement we all have the ability to feel this way. We need to feel all types of things, that is what makes us human beings, but this type of mentality is toxic for everyone.
Being/living in this state of mind is  like calling in sick when you aren’t really sick (unless you have strep or mono). Some people just need to look or act miserable to compete with the angry, disatisfied person next to them or they feel like they some how got shorted so now it is just their way of “getting back” but getting back at who? What kind of point does this prove?
  1. First of all the blame game isn’t a game at all, it is just ridiculous.
  2. If you are negative about your search, your former employer, your colleague, your career, IT SHOWS
  3. You can’t move forward if you are living in the past
  4. Companies want to hire more than just a talented person, they want to hire someone who will contribute to their culture in a positive way. They already have the burnt out miserable, I am ready to retire person position filled.
  5. You don’t get a promotion for showing up and doing your job that is what a paycheck is for
  6. Colleague, boss, client, etc… under your skin? do more than turn the other cheek, kill ’em with kindness
  7. If you really aren’t happy, you are the only person who can change your situation SO DO IT
  8. Understand that your hobbies & friends are different than your colleagues, bosses and job description
  9. Carry yourself as if you would like to work for you
  10. If you really need a break, take one. But while you are on that break don’t sit and mope or sleep all day, make it a point to get motivated with something that makes you feel good.
  11. Remember: If it was easy everyone would be doing it (IMPORTANT TO NOTE)
  12. If you really don’t want to change, see the problems only exist in others or see nothing to improve within yourself, well you are exactly the reason why others get promoted.
It is more than being positive, you have to discover what is getting in the way of your success and many times we are in our own way. The good news is that you don’t have far to look, the bad news is it is easier and safer to blame the outside world or others.
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