You've heard of keywords right? You've heard that you might miss out on interviews if your resume doesn't contain the right keywords, because it might not be found when someone searches the resume database. And therefore, you may have wondered whether you should include a keyword summary in your resume.
My answer is no. And I see that HR Guy agrees with me. He writes:
I don’t know about other recruiters but I think keywords are awful. Whenever I see them, they seem… oh how to put it… tacky? And while Jimmy’s idea is pretty slick, if your recruiter doesn’t have an application tracking system (ATS) that parses the resume with the included summary, you are out of luck. I would guess that would be a good guess if the company has less than a 1,000 people and would almost be a sure thing with less than 500 people. So that can help you get a job at the big companies but there are better ways to do keywords that will help you get a job period.
I know it is a radical idea but how about including some of those keywords in the actual content of your resume. If it isn’t important enough to be even be mentioned, it is unlikely adding the keyword is going to help that. If you have sales experience but you don’t mention sales in your resume, what makes you think that adding “sales” to your keywords is going to help you land the job.
I could not agree more!
Yesterday, I gave an interview to the Washington Post for an upcoming feature about graduate resumes, and as I was talking, I realized that I kept hitting on the same theme (sounded like a broken record actually!) That theme is this: Be honest.
If you include all your skills and accomplishments in your resume, you will be discovered for relevant positions during a keyword search because you have the skills. You don't need to create a fake summary or worry about keywords at all actually. You just need to focus on putting your best foot forward by telling employers what you have accomplished in a compelling manner.
(If you need help, sign up for our free resume writing e-course. There's no spam and no content-free emails designed to get you to spend money! This is good solid content because I know how much most people struggle with their resumes.)
The bottom line, as I told the Washington Post is that recruiters like HR Guy are far from stupid, They have seen every trick in the book a thousand times, and not surprisingly, they resent attempts to pull the wool over their eyes. So honesty is always the best policy when it comes to keywords, or any other aspect of your resume.