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Jobhunting 101: Are Keywords Important in Writing your Resume?

So you have just found an ad for the job of your dreams. You have searched through the company's portfolio, ironed out your business suit, and Googled the best routes from your house to your future office. But sadly, you're not the only one who's got his eyes on the prize: studies have shown that you have to compete with an average of 118 applicants per job posting.

How will you make your application stand out?

Most online articles suggested using keywords to help you get an interview faster. American hiring managers have to deal with hundreds of CVs, and a database application helps them sort out the applications that they can potentially interview. Hence, jobhunters have began incorporating phrases such as "team player", "synergistic", or even "thought leadership" into their application forms.

However, a article* revealed that adding keywords does not really do anything.

Contributor Liz Ryan stated that "the problem with keyword-based resumes is that every job-seeker has figured out how to pluck the right keywords from the job ad". The hiring manager will still end up with too many applications. Once the latter performed another search using a different keyword, your resume may not make the cut!

To increase your chances of getting hired, send in a Human-Voiced Resume.

A human-voiced resume, according to Ryan, is a powerful resume written by a human who would like to share his voice and personality. It is written to highlight what you can do, or what have you been doing. Moreover, it could cut through the clutter of your future employer's desks as it is phrased differently from your competitors.

To write a human-voiced resume, you can strike out your keyword-laden objectives and opt for something like this: "I am a Public Administration and Governance graduate who have worked for the Department of So-and-So's Central Office for three years. From being an Administrative Assistant I, I have worked my way up to Administrative Assistant V, where I was tasked to implement out-of town projects with a small team."

Remember, though, that your resume has to sound human throughout. Instead of describing your duties and responsibilities, write what you have accomplished during your stay.

It is not too late to revise your application. Get up and start working on your resume. Who knows, you might land a spot at your dream office.


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