How Are Profile Keywords Different Than Resume Keywords?

Nov 4 2010 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career advice

Since recruiters now search for candidates on Google and social networks, today’s job seekers also need to search optimize social networking profiles in order to be found. There are some major differences between profile optimization vs resume optimization.

The keywords that make your profile findable by recruiters/employers aren’t the same keywords that make your resume findable in recruiter/employer databases.

Therefore, there are very different strategies to make your profile more findable on Google, Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, than what I’ve suggested to make your resume pop out of an Applicant Tracking System.

Why are these strategies so different?

The major reason is that your profile isn’t customizable for each reader, while your resume is.

Much has been written about what keywords should be used on a resume. If you’ve seen some of my earlier articles, you’ll note that I stress making keywords fit the specific job, using employer language, and addressing problems that are specific to your employer – heavily personalizing your resume.

That’s not possible with a profile – A good profile is a summary of your resume. It has fewer words, less detail, and it’s not customizable to the reader. A good profile shouldn’t conflict with your resume, it should support it. Remember what your profile is used for: Being searchable, providing social proof to your resume, and giving a little background about your personality (pictures and non-work related activities).

Recruiters also search for profiles on social networks in a slightly different way than they search for resumes in an Applicant Tracking System. Recruiters know that profiles aren’t customizable, while resumes are. This means a recruiter searching social networks searches for a broader skill set, one that is typical for the industry.

A recruiter searching Social Networks (like Linkedin), searches for 3 major criteria: Location, Title, and Industry skills.

Here’s what that means to candidates:

  • Location: Make sure you include location on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. If you are looking to make a location move as an active candidate, make sure to mention on your profiles. You need to enable the location function for status updates – that’s going a little far.
  • Title: Some candidates have responsibilities that are greater than their actual title – Active Candidates: If you are acting as the Marketing Manager put it in parentheses next to your actual title. Some companies have non-standard titles for company positions – so put the industry standard title in parentheses next to your official funky title.
  • Industry skills: For industry skills, start with a standardized industry skills list (search Google, you’ll find thousands). Next, use a word cloud tool (or tag cloud) that ranks key words by importance, in much the same way as search engines work. Find 10 job descriptions from a job board that you’re well qualified for, cut and paste the responsibilities and qualifications sections for all 10 into a word document. Run the word document through a word cloud, and you’ll see the most important words in the largest font. Some of these words might seem like they are industry descriptors – but make sure the exact word is used somewhere in your resume. Make sure that all the largest font words and also the top 10 largest font words that represent job criteria are included – use the exact words.

Recruiters and employers – please comment with examples of the differences in how you search social network profiles vs resume databases.


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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