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Focus Your Internet Resume to Get Attention

When you post your resume online, you want it to get noticed. But how can your resume—one of literally hundreds facing recruiters every day—draw enough attention to get you an interview? It’s all about focus. Step into the recruiters’ spotlight by tailoring your resume and using online tools to get the attention you deserve!

Make a Strong First Impression
Most recruiters spend less than 30 seconds reading your resume. Your first impression is critical. Recruiters read resumes like you read a newspaper—scanning headlines first, then deciding whether to read more in depth. Make it easier on them by crafting a tightly focused resume that showcases your assets.

One way to revamp your resume is by hiring a professional resume writer, like ResumePlanet. This is a great way to overcome the challenge of getting noticed. The cheapest way, of course, is to rewrite it yourself. There are countless books and Web sites that provide resume-writing tips, like TrueCareers’ resume help. Don’t forget to tailor your resume for specific sites and job openings.

Find Your Focus
Showcase your strong points first. Employers and recruiters don’t have time to scroll through paragraphs to find your key skills. Follow these guidelines to stay focused:
  • Use a resume title. The title is the first thing recruiters see. Sonya Thompson, creative recruiter at the Aquent talent agency in McLean, Va., sees “online resumes that have several titles, including something eye-catching like ‘Excel Guru.’” In many cases, it’s this simple title that makes the employer/recruiter click to view your resume.
  • List keywords to highlight your skills. Keywords are adjectives and nouns that describe your skills and experience. Most resume databases prompt you for keywords; for those that don’t, try listing keywords in your summary. Page length doesn’t matter in online resumes, but your summary and/or keyword list should be easy to find. Make your list as long as possible. Thompson relies on keywords: “I look first at location and the skills set [by keyword]. Then I use the Find function on my browser to look for specific skills.”
  • Specify your accomplishments. “If a candidate can include examples, use numbers, or list key results, that makes it easier for us to place them,” Thompson says. “If we can give our clients statistics about how they’ll benefit, such as increasing revenue, it makes it easier to sell that candidate.”
Keep It Simple
Take out all the fancy formatting—symbols, columns, bullets—before posting your resume online or pasting it into an email. And don’t forget to proofread. A resume with mistakes never makes it to the printer. Spell check can catch a lot of errors, but it’s never as good as the human eye. And get some eyes other than yours to look it over. This increases your chances of catching every mistake.

Spread the Word
To send your resume everywhere in a hurry, there are two major ways. The first and free way is to set up accounts at various job boards and post your resume for recruiters who are constantly screening candidates. Remember that the bigger the site, the less likely you’ll be found. Niche job boards, like TrueCareers, that focus on your specialty area can offer you more exposure.

The other option is to try a blast email/fax service, like Resume Blaster. Aquent’s Thompson finds blast resumes are just as useful as online listings: “At first I’ll glance at a blasted resume and put it aside, but I give that resume the same attention as any other.” Whichever service you choose, be careful and make sure you can trust the site. Take the Bull by the Horns Instead of trusting that recruiters will find you in a resume database, you could send your resume directly to the recruiter. Be bold: follow it up with a phone call. “A phone call definitely helps,” Thompson says. “I can pull up their information within an hour and call them back right away. An email with no follow-up takes several days for a reply.” You’ll find recruiters through the National Association of Executive Recruiters and the Recruiters Directory. Above all, remember that to get noticed among the masses, you’ve got to make a strong impression. With a concise and clearly crafted online resume and some direct marketing to recruiters, you’ll get attention in no time!


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