Monday, February 18, 2008

How to “rig” CareerBuilder and other job boards

Is it helpful to your job search to rank highly in a resume search? It should be, since only about 2-3% of resumes sent through job boards are actually read by humans.

It's frustrating, isn't it? Many take it personally, getting angry or depressed.

But it's also your best weapon to landing interviews…


Computerized pre-screens are a necessary result of the number of resumes that CareerBuilder and other job sites flood companies with. But pre-screens give you a job seeker a HUGE opportunity to stand out from the crowd, if you know how to "rig" your resume.

So how can you get an Unfair Advantage? Do the same thing that SEO experts do to websites – game your resume to show up near the top of searches. It's a technique called Resume Search Optimization, and the idea is simple.

Use the same words as the job description. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But you'd be amazed at how few job seekers use this simple method. It pretty much like when you figured out in High School that the more of the teachers vocabulary words you used in your papers and essays, the higher your grade was.

Why do so few job seekers use Resume Search Optimization? There's a few reasons:

  • Takes time – To use Resume Search optimization effectively, every resume must be customized
  • Contrary to what you were taught – Still today, colleges, including the nations top universities, still teach career skills and resume writing the same way they did 30, 40 , 50 years ago (Static resume, general skills, printed on paper, customized cover letter).
  • Misinformation – Many job seekers feel they ARE using Resume Search Optimization, by customizing their cover letters. What these career changers don't realize is that computerized pre-screening strips your cover letter, and discards it. Recruiters rarely see your cover letter, and they aren't included in resume searches

Try Resume Search Optimization with the next 10 resumes you send. Make your resume detailed, and make sure to use the employers words. Please comment back with success stories!

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".

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