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Your resume has 6 seconds to live. Is it SEO ready?

I was invited to Delaware State University by the Director of Career Services, Lisa Moody, to facilitate two presentations this month. It was a very rewarding experience and I sincerely appreciated the opportunity to connect with the students, other presenters and members of the outstanding Career Services team in Dover, DE.

One of the presentations was titled “The SEO Resume”. At East Coast Executives, our Career Coaching clients are familiar with the term “SEO Resume” but we thought it would be interesting to present it to the students as a way of “spring boarding” their career search by teaching the “tricks” that enable a resume to navigate it’s way to the top of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) rankings. The acronym “SEO’ stands for Search Engine Optimization; It’s basically the process of affecting the visibility of a web page, website or better yet…your resume.

You may ask…why is it important? SEO is necessary to improve the chances of your resume ranking high in the Applicant Tracking System (the online application). Here are a few reasons why this is crucial to career search success. A recent study reports that 70% of Fortune 1000 Companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). 75% of all resume submissions are not making it through the ATS. The average Recruiter spends 6 seconds looking at your resume. Yes, tic,tic,tic,tic,tic, delete!

The key to increase the viability of your resume is to focus on its formatting and unique keywords. Keywords are extremely important because they speak to the system and communicate that your skills and qualifications are a match against the position description and the position requirements. The proper formatting techniques simply assure that your resume won’t be “kicked out” of the system before it receives a chance to be seen by a Recruiter or Hiring Manager.

Please remember to customize your resume for each position that you apply to. It takes some extra time and effort but this simple rule greatly increases the chances of your resume making it past that “6 second” mark. Happy searching!

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