Posted by:  Silvestre Trujillo, OSU Junior and Career Services Career Assistant

Writing a resume for a specific company is always tough. There is always the stress of trying to figure out what to put on your resume that will make you stand out. The thought of an employer going through your resume and not liking what is on there can be very nerve-racking. Companies in today’s businesses hire people to personally look through resumes and pick out the candidates that stand out. However, more and more businesses are moving to a key word screening process where technology is used to find the person for a particular job.

Keyword screening is a process that many people are not familiar with. When a resume is submitted, you don’t usually think of the screening that occurs through keywords, but it needs to be kept in the back of your mind. This is how it works:  a company has software that takes online resume submissions and (through fancy programming), it looks for specific words. These words can vary depending on the company or the position description of the job they’re trying to fill. This form of screening candidates is usually done by bigger companies but is being used by many smaller companies as well. When writing a resume or tailoring it to a specific company it is important to always keep in mind that the use of technology could be the way in which you are selected.

A way in which to write your resume so that you have a higher chance of being selected over other candidates is to look at the position description for the job you are applying to. A typical job description will look like:

Communication Skills: Strong verbal communication skills that will be applied to customer interaction, client relation and colleague interaction.

Computer Skills: Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office 2007, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, iMovie, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, DivX, PowerDVD DX

After seeing the position description it is important to take the key skills addressed and add them to your resume—IF you do, in fact, have knowledge of those skills stated.  For example, you could simply add a computer skills section to your resume, and then include every skill you have related to computers and technology.  This would definitely help if some of those programs you state are in the keyword database.

When writing your resume for any job, always remember that screening by technology could be used. Make sure to go through the position description and try to use keywords to describe the type of work you did in a past job. The hiring process is always changing and it is important to keep up to date in order to have a an edge on the competition.

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