Ever been unemployed? Chances are you’ve come across Indeed a few times in your job search.
But for those of you who live under a rock, Indeed is a job search engine for new career opportunities and recruitment. Think LinkedIn, without the extra fluff of making your profile look pretty.
What most people forget about Indeed is that it’s also a great place for recruiting – especially their resume search engine. And like most of you who type in different keywords to find potential job postings, recruiters use a similar approach to find qualified applicants. If a recruiter is looking for a candidate to fill a marketing analyst position, they would hopefully search for the term, “marketing analyst,” and find those with relevant experience.
So how does this work to your advantage? You can SEO your way in getting the top position of Indeed’s Resume Search results for a particular keyword in your job field. Let’s say your name comes up first when a recruiter searches for a certain keyword, he/she will likely check your resume, and maybe contact you for an interview.
Let’s say we want your resume to appear when a recruiter searches for SEO, or SEO specialist. There are several ranking factors to consider when it comes to improving your resume’s search visibility.
This first one might not mean much to you at the moment, but hear me out. If your first or last name is Marketing, you’ll likely be ranked first without further changes. Now try searching for SEO, and you’ll see that some people actually have it as their real last name.
Keep in mind I’m not advising you to change your name to get a job. What you can do, instead, is add a relevant title after your last name, making it look more professional, and hopefully non-spammy.
It also looks nice when you view your resume.
Simply go to Resume > Edit Resume, and click edit on the top-right. In terms of format, you want to add it to the field with your last name, separated with a pipe — but a hyphen works too.
Indeed makes your most recent job position your headline when you import your resume. If it’s not what you’re targeting, then I suggest you change it.
Generally, you’ll want to include a few keywords in addition to your target term — but don’t go too crazy. I went a bit over the top for my headline, so don’t take it as the ideal example!
Try to keep each keyword as closely related as possible, so you don’t lose credibility. For example, adding SEO and SEM are fine because they belong in search. However, I would avoid placing keywords like SEO and graphic design together on the same headline; it’s a bit of a stretch.
Of course, if you really do know graphic design, then you’re definitely free to put it on your resume — in the skills section. It’s all about the appropriate placement.
3. Job Title
There’s not much you can do if your current job title doesn’t match the keyword you want. You can try the previous pipe method and place it in addition to your title. It all depends on how strict your job title is, and how your current or previous employer would feel if you tweaked your position a bit.
If you’re in a start-up, or a relatively small company, then your job title isn’t as important because you’re likely doing different types of tasks anyway, so go ahead and change away.
4. Job Description & Skills
Finally we have the job description and skills. Of course, you should write your description according to the results of your efforts and past experience, but it doesn’t hurt to throw in a keyword or two.
Under skills, you can pretty much go all-out with the keyword stuffing (don’t quote me). If you have intermediate knowledge on a subject, or are skilled in a specific tool, then list them all here. Add different abbreviations and synonyms to make sure you cover all the bases.
5. Update Frequently
Using the above methods will definitely get you ranking, but over time, you might notice your position decreasing if you don’t regularly update your resume.
To counter this, I simply add/remove a keyword in the skills section, and re-save. As long as you see the date or time change under your name, you should be fine.
Optimizing your resume for Indeed is basic, rudimentary SEO. It’s so basic that it almost encourages keyword-stuffing — which is definitely frowned upon in the Google world.
You’re tailoring your resume for a target keyword, and job position — similar to writing a blog post based on your keyword research, and topic.
Now, once you start ranking for your desired job title, all the recruiters will start flocking to your email. Whatever happens after is up to you.
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