Optimizing your skill set

Most of you have heard the term optimizing when talking about websites, but what does it mean to optimize your skill set?  We’ve all done resumes where we have listed ten skills as they pertain to the job posting, usually at the top of the page. In essence this is optimizing, but to really make these skills stand out, you need to focus on the posting.

Lets say you want to apply for a position as a program coordinator. The posting asks for numerous skills, some of which you have and some that are perhaps close. The goal is to insure that your skills list closely matches the order that was used in the posting. For example, if the posting lists excellent communication skills as their first requirement, then your skills list should have that at the top. If the last item on their requirements is mail sorting, then if you add this at all, it should be at the bottom. This is called optimizing. Putting the important items at the top where they get the best read. The same rules apply for the write up or description that accompanies each position in your resume. Optimize your description by bringing the key requirements from the posting into the opening lines of your descriptions.

The next step may save you from receiving a ton of rejections in your job search. Companies use word clouds to get a visual of your listed skills. By optimizing your resume skills, your key attributes will stand out in a word cloud. Search out a free word cloud generator online and run your resume through this to see a graphic of your skill set. The image in the header of this article is an example of a word cloud. If you look at the word cloud and don’t like what you see, then this is a great opportunity to refocus your resume to highlight the skills that you want to be at the forefront.

Optimizing your skill set is a great way to get the attention of recruiters and hopefully lessen the amount of rejections you receive on your job search journey.

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