Q. How important are keywords on the resume?

Q. How important are keywords on the resume?

Most companies don’t have sophisticated resume software to search resumes. Large companies may have this, but most Orange County companies are small and therefore don’t have the software. The issue is with job boards. For companies that search online resume databases, having the right keywords is important. If you are going to post your resume, you should make sure you know the best keywords that will bring up your resume. Often it is title, industry, some functional keywords such as sales, marketing, employee benefits, accounting and so on. I would also include some of the commonly used terms in the function, B2B sales, RFP/RFQ, focus groups, SEC reporting, SAP software, international marketing, social media expert, etc.

One way I have found to identify your best keywords is to ask others what keywords they would use if they were looking for a person in your field. Collect these and embed the ones most often mentioned in your resume.

You can download a free 8-Point Job Search Plan Self-Assessment that will help you evaluate exactly what you need to do to improve your search. CLICK HERE to download.

Is your LinkedIn Profile going to get you noticed? Our FREE LinkedIn Profile Matrix will help you develop an outstanding profile. CLICK HERE to download yours.

Join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking group. Over 4,200 people have joined. CLICK HERE to join.

We realize that not everyone will agree with these answers and that is healthy. So if you don’t agree, or wish to comment, we encourage you to do so. Just click the link below.

Brad Remillard


How To Handle High Turnover In An Interview?

Question: I have some turnover in my background that makes me look like a job hopper. Most of the turnover resulted from the company either closing or moving, not me leaving. Do you have any recommendations on how to handle this when asked about it in an interview?

Yes, don’t wait to be asked. Regardless of your negative situation you should always address it head on. Bring the issue up before you are even asked. In your case I would say, “From my resume it appears as if I have a lot of turnover. I would like to clarify this as in most cases the company either closed or moved. I never really left the positions.” Candidates often think that because the interviewer didn’t bring up the issue that they are comfortable with it. This just isn’t correct. It is always better to make it appear that you have nothing to hide. I refer to this as making a preemptive strike. This is especially true if you have been let go. It is better to discuss the issue on your terms and get your point of view out, than to let the interviewer jump to an incorrect conclusion.

You can review our Candidate Job Search Workbook for FREE (just pay $5 shipping). You can review the questions, read the multiple chapters on interviewing, and even learn the ten must ask questions in an interview. CLICK HERE to learn how to get your workbook sent to you for just the cost of shipping.

Download our sample cover letter. This will help make sure your resume aligns with the position, and recruiters appreciate this style. It is free.  CLICK HERE to get yours.

Finally our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group is free to join and all are welcome. This group has over 3,800 members and a wealth of articles, job postings and discussions to help you. CLICK HERE to join the group.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. If this was helpful, please pass the link on so others may benefit also.

Brad Remilllard

Do recruiters post ads for non-existent jobs to solicit resumes?

Question: Should I reply to job ads that don’t identify the employer?  Do recruiters post ads for non-existent jobs to solicit resumes?

If you are unemployed you should respond to all job ads for which you are qualified. It shouldn’t matter if the employer is identified. If you are working caution is required. Many employers don’t want to be identified when posting ads for a variety of reasons. The company may not want people just showing up in the lobby to apply and others may not want their competitors to know they are looking to hire someone. The position could also be confidential and the company doesn’t want their employees to know. I wouldn’t let this discourage you from responding if you are unemployed.

It is very likely that recruiters do place ads for non-existent jobs. On the surface this sounds like a bad thing, but it is actually a good thing for people actively looking for a position. When a company contacts a recruiter with an opening, the recruiter may have only a few minutes or hours to submit your resume before the company selects the ones they want to interview. If your resume is already in the recruiter’s system they can do this. It could take days to write an ad, post the ad, you read and reply to the ad, and then the recruiter screens your resume. By this time the company may already have a short list of candidates and you missed out. Recruiters that recruit in a specific functional area know they need to have an inventory of talent at the ready. Being able to present your resume within minutes of a client’s request is a good thing for candidates.

One of the best resources we can offer you is our  sample cover letter. We get more positive feedback on how this tool has impacted a person’s job search than any other resource. I encourage you to download it and use it. We make this available for FREE because we want to help you. CLICK HERE to download.

Join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. It has 5,400 members and is one of the most active job search resources on LinkedIn. CLICK HERE to join.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Brad Remillard


No Need To Hate The Tell Me About Yourself Question

Question: I hate it when I’m asked the question, “Tell me about yourself?” in an interview. I never know how to answer this.

It is, for the most part, a break the ice question. It gets the candidate talking, gives time for everyone to relax, is wide open, and generally a meaningless question. However, just because it is meaningless, that doesn’t mean you can ignore it. In fact, this is an excellent opportunity for you to engage the interviewer. You have a golden opportunity to hit the salient points in your background, open a discussion around what defines success in this role, and get the interviewer excited about you.

In our opinion this should be a short 2 minute answer and so well rehearsed that it doesn’t appear to be rehearsed. This is not the time to give your autobiography, go over every position in your background or bore the interviewer with a long winded answer.

We recommend that you start with your most relevant position and hit the accomplishments that closely relate to the position. It is even acceptable to outline some of your current responsibilities, organization, relevant company information, products or services, and basic duties. The goal is to give the interviewer the information they need to better understand how your company, industry, experiences and organization aligns with theirs.

You should have a number of canned, well rehearsed, thoughtful answers to this question. This is your opportunity to start the interview on the best footing for you.

For a more in-depth discussion on this topic read the article http://www.impacthiringsolutions.com/careerblog/2009/10/02/tell-me-about-yourself-why-is-this-question-asked-in-an-interview/

Join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. It is one of the biggest and most active groups dealing with job search issues on LinkedIn. CLICK HERE to join.

Download our FREE Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. Take the evaluation and discover if your search is all it can be. CLICK HERE to download.

Visit our audio library. No library card required – all audio files can be downloaded for free. There is an extensive amount of files on all of the different topics surrounding a job search. CLICK HERE to review the library.

If this was helpful, then please help others by forwarding it on to your network, posting on your Facebook page, Tweeting with the link, posting to your LinkedIn groups or status update.  Let’s all do everything we can to help those looking for employment.

I welcome your comments.

Brad Remillard