The most effective keywords are the ones that are relevant for a specific opportunity, a specific manager, and a specific company. Since no two opportunities, managers or companies are the same, they aren’t looking for the same keywords ... even for comparable positions. For example, a company may use entirely different words and phrases to describe the duties of an administrative assistant compared to another company - even if the actual jobs are essentially the same, they are described (and searched for) differently.
The Effective Way To Use Keywords:
Effective keyword strategies come from research, to understand how the target company communicates, the words/phrases they use, their problems/issues/goals, and how these effect the hiring manager. The greater understanding you have of these data points, the better chance you’ll have at matching keyword searches by that company and for that opportunity.
Sources of effective keyword research:
- The Job Description: Look carefully at the job description to find 5-10 key words in the description. Since HR typically just gets bullet pointed criteria from a hiring manager, it’s a good bet that those criteria are used verbatim in the job description.
- Company communications: Read any public information you can get your hands on from your target company. Look for jargon and tone. Examples of public information that can be useful are:
- Annual/Quarterly reports
- News articles
- Interviews with company managers
- Press releases
- Company website
- Company brochures/marketing materials
- Informational interviews: Informational interviews can be one of the best ways to uncover problems and to gain an understanding of a company’s communication style. Listen carefully.
- Guerrilla Job Search tactics: See http://recareered.blogspot.com/2009/11/guerrilla-job-search-tactics.html.
Sure we’d all prefer the easy route, but aren’t we really after effectiveness in search? Seriously, how many candidates do you know who describe their job search as easy? Would you believe them?
Readers - Do you have any suggestions of where to find effective keyword research?
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