One of the most important things to learn while searching for your first entry level job is to understand the back end of hiring. With the heavy handed use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), surpassing the first obstacle can be frustrating when you are unsure what you are against. Feeling intimated? No need, Employment Boost has put together a quick guide to help you understand how SEO and ATS can impact your job search.
What is the Purpose of Search Engine Optimization (and How Do I Use it to My Benefit)?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a technique companies use to make their website more appealing to target Google algorithms. The more relevant information you have on your site, the higher the website sits for users to see. In the case of your resume, using the same practices will place you in the top tier of candidates for hiring managers to see.
What is an Applicant Tracking System?
In the same retrospect, the Applicant Tracking System or ATS, is the recruitment version of Google but also filters out resumes that do not seem fit. On average, the ATS system will filter out approximately 75% of resumes even if the candidate qualifies for the position.
How Do I Use SEO and ATS to My Advantage?
Besides from always tweaking your resume to better suit the position you are apply for, use keywords and terms that are provided from the job posting itself.
For instance, if a company is looking to fill a Design and Marketing position in a Heath, Wellness, and Fitness industry, it will require you to use keywords such as:
- Content Development
- Social Media Coordination / Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Graphic Design / Efficiency in Adobe Creative Suite Program(s)
- Maximizing Customer Growth
- Web Design
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Bonus: Feel free to supplement these with any health, wellness, or fitness related keywords that would help increase your chances. Before you start stating that “CrossFit is life”, realize that this probably won’t land you the job unless it is a skill that you can use during work hours (for example; sports marketing, or sports proficient).
So, What’s Next?
Your resume will have less than 6 seconds to impress the hiring manager, make sure your content is organized and free of spelling mistakes. If you have portfolios or links to direct sources that will showcase your previous work, feel free to include them for the hiring manager to peruse through. This could set you apart from the rest of the candidates applying for the position.
Besides from your portfolio, a link to professional social media sites such as LinkedIn is acceptable as well. If you are a fashion blogger or a professional photographer that uses Instagram strictly to advertise your services or abilities, feel free to apply that to your resume as well. Whatever you do, do not link your personal Instagram (Facebook, Snapchat, etc). Your interviewer can wait to see how you eat a burger until after you’ve been hired.