Write the Right Resume
By MedHunters Staff
Writing the right résumé today requires more thought and attention than ever before, because instead of just being read by a person, résumés also need to be read by computer systems. But despite the extra scrutiny, the normal résumé rules still apply – whether it's read by a computer system or not.
3. Some important don'ts:
New Trends in Recruitment
Today's recruiters use job boards, key words, and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to find their candidates.
Job boards are like online classified ads. They can be specialized (such as BioSpace) or general (such as Monster). Unlike newspaper ads, however, job boards have additional features. Job posts placed online reach a wider audience, and jobseekers can register to be informed of suitable jobs.
As well, some job boards use key words. These indexing words help jobseekers to search for jobs. And recruiters make use of key words to identify candidates.
Key words are also used in ATS, which are one of the newest trends in recruitment. ATS are computer programs that store résumés. To select a specific set of candidates, a recruiter enters a particular key word into the ATS, which is then matched to words found in the stored résumés. Because an ATS is the first filter to screen out inappropriate résumés, your résumé should not only include those key words that identify you, it should also be scannable in order to be entered into the ATS in the first place. If your résumé misses on either of these points, it will never make it to the next level – where a real person will see it.
In addition to writing a résumé for human eyes, and to ensure that a computer will be able to read it as well, keep in mind the following:
And finally, revisit your résumé from time to time. Not only will you have new skills to add, but a fresh eye will see opportunities for improvement.
NOTE: What exactly are key words and will using them help me get a job?
A key word is a significant or indexing word. Or, to use a pun, it's the "key" to what you're looking for. Most of us are familiar with using them, because we use them all the time when we search for information on sites such as Google or Yahoo!. For example, a person looking for a job as a CRA could use key words like: "CRA job," "clinical research job," or "clinical."
As mentioned earlier, the ATS programs used by recruiters use key words. So, when writing your résumé, include key words that are common to your profession, e.g., equipment used, acronyms for specialty certifications, names of licensing boards, etc.
But don't think that peppering your résumé with key words guarantees you that dream job. Your résumé still has to have substance. And bear in mind key word searching is far from perfect. We've all had to sift through pages of incorrect search results to find what we are looking for – for example, my former coworker did a search engine query on "Social Workers" and the first websites listed on the results page were those of prostitutes.
Which is why some job boards choose to forgo key word searching, and instead ask individuals to categorize themselves by job title (e.g., CRA-Clinical Research Associate). This way, jobseekers get matched to the jobs they are looking for, and employers find only those candidates that qualify for their jobs – that is, they get that CRA, instead of a technician who worked in a "clinical" environment or one who specializes in the repair of "clinical" equipment.