Google HR Boss Explains The Best Way To Use Buzzwords In Your Résumé

Black woman smiling resume job interviewChris Hondros/Getty ImagesThere’s a way to get your résumé through the initial round of screening without it sounding generic.

It’s no secret that so many larger companies are turning to automated résumé screener software to cut down the initial pool of job applicants. So it’s understandable why you might feel to need to play games or be creative in order to get noticed.

But loading up your résumé with meaningless buzzwords — and trying to “seamlessly” incorporate them throughout your entire résumé — isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it, says Laszlo Bock, Google’s head of human resources.

He writes in a recent LinkedIn post:

[I]f you’re in a technical field, have a section where you list all your programming languages. If you’re in other professions, you may want to extract the buzzwords from the job posting and have a “skills” section (doesn’t matter what you call it) where you can park your laundry list of jargon. Don’t waste space on verbs. Just have a list. Save your compelling writing for the bullet points under each job.

Look at the job posting for the position you’re applying for and make note of specific adjectives mentioned. If they apply to you, include them.

Jobs site ZipRecruiter analysed 3 million résumés last year and discovered there were three themes that caught the attention of not only bots, but human recruiters as well:

[W]e found that words that implied management skills (not necessarily as a manager: time management is an example of a management skill everyone needs to have), a proactive stance towards working (“responsible,” “support,” and “client;” speak to that) and problem solving skills (“data,” “analysis,” and “operation”) were the most highly rated.

That said, don’t be dishonest about what you include, and don’t have your skills section be an incomprehensible mishmash of keywords.

Your goal is to get noticed, whether by a computer program or an HR rep with an inbox full of résumés and little time, and then you can let your personality shine through in follow-up interviews.

You can read both parts of Bock’s résumé tips below:

The Biggest Mistakes I See On Résumés And How To Correct Them Part 1

Part 2

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