How to SEO Your Resume

July 19, 2011

Westwood College Resume Tips

It’s still a tough job market out there despite some recent economic turnaround. Giving your resume every advantage to stand out of the crowd may help you land a great job opportunity. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your resume appear when potential employers search for qualified candidates online.

SEO is the practice of developing, reorganizing and link building for a website or document so that it achieves top position on organic search listings. It is possible to optimize your resume so that it appears in both organic search rankings (like Google’s search results) and also comes up when employers search job sites like Monster and LinkedIn.

The very first task is getting your resume online. A beginning step is to post it to basic and industry-specific job sites. A more advanced tactic is to buy a URL that describes the job you are seeking. For example, someone looking for an animation job in New York may purchase the URL www.NewYorkAnimator.com from a domain site such as GoDaddy.com and post their resume. It is then possible to optimize that website for SEO by putting keywords in the page title and title tag.

What are keywords? Keywords are the high-traffic words and terms that people are searching for online. Including them strategically is a critical part of SEO. Think about what terms an employer would use to search for job candidates on a site like LinkedIn. For example, if a recruiter is looking for an experienced graphic designer for a management position, they may search “Creative Director” or “design expertise.” You can then test your guesses with a free site like Google Analytics.

Don’t overstuff the keywords in the text. Insert them where they occur naturally, with an emphasis on placing them in titles and headings. Keep the content short and to-the-point to boost SEO ranking along with readability once a recruiter is actually reading the document. Also, if your resume includes images, be certain the images are labeled with keywords.

Include links to relevant industry sites, publications or other websites featuring your experience or work. You can also try to get other sites to link to your resume, which helps improve search engine ranking. If you keep your social media sites like Facebook and Twitter professionally appropriate, include links to your pages on these sites at the bottom of the resume. Remember, even if you don’t include a link to your Facebook account on your resume, prospective employers may see it so either make it work-appropriate or set the privacy settings very high. I actually recommend doing both.

Follow these tips along with traditional job search methods to give your resume a boost over the competition.

Petra Andrade
Senior Internet Marketing Manager
Westwood College

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