Patsy Porco

Résumés Now Need Keywords? I’ll Give You a Keyword.

In Computers, Humor, Résumeé, Technology, Website on January 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I started the New Year doing what is becoming a New Year’s ritual: I looked for a job. Freelancing positions often are terminated at the end of the year, at least in my experience. So, I booted up my GPS and headed off to Purchase, NY, to meet with a headhunter. As an aside, wouldn’t you think that “headhunter” would be considered un-PC in this era? Yet the term remains, just like “Indian Summer.” People probably don’t realize that Indian Summer means a fake summer and refers to tricks pulled by Native Americans on the uninvited settlers of their land. Yet some terms, like “Indian Giver,” “Redskin,” “Casino Owner” and, especially “Indian,” are shunned because of their insensitivity. Well, maybe not the second-to-last one. But I digress, which is what adult sufferers of ADD tend to do, but not Native American ones. I’d hate to be accused of insensitivity.

But back to Purchase, NY: in the course of my interview, it was brought to my attention that my résumé was lacking in some areas. That came as a surprise to me. I thought the new addition of boxes around “Professional Experience” and “Education” added a snazzy aspect to my CV. In fact, I was told that removing the distracting boxes would be an improvement. I was also advised to list my skills above my experience. And, because my résumé would be uploaded to cyberspace, I had to use terms, or keywords, that hiring companies would be seeking out. For instance, I needed to use the word “website” instead of “site,” and list “Adobe Acrobat,” “Chicago Manual of Style,” “AP Stylebook,” “Proofreader Marks,” etc.

Keywords are quickly becoming the bane of my existence. I recently started a website for self-published authors (keyword: indie authors): www.spbroundup.com (forgive the plug, please). I thought I was doing these overlooked authors a favor by providing them with a place to promote their works. I also thought I’d eventually attract advertisers who would want to pay me to appear on my website. I have spent hundreds of hours editing authors’ book descriptions and photos of their jacket covers—and just as much time tracking the traffic to my website and figuring out the perfect keywords to use so that SPBRoundup.com would rank high on Google searches.

Now I have to do the same thing for my résumé? You have got to be kidding me. Wasn’t the computer supposed to make life easier? Yes, I don’t have to print out letters and résumés, address envelopes and lick stamps, but I’m spending just as much time doing keyword searches and formatting my résumé.

I have a perfect keyword for this new requirement. And I’m pretty sure it would rank as number one in the search engines.

 

Self-published authors aren’t shackled by rules others make for them. Their only limits are self-imposed. See what they’re up to at www.spbroundup.com.

 

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