Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Job search and strategically selecting and using key words in your search campaign

Posted in job search and career development by Timothy Platt on February 20, 2010

We all tend to fall into patterns, and this includes automatic patterns in searching for jobs and managing our careers too. This is one of my postings where I set out to prompt you to reexamine some of the fundamentals and to look at the basic issues with fresh eyes. I decided to focus on a term that frequently comes up in the context of job search but that is not generally really examined: “key word.” It is vitally important to keep any job search or career management effort fresh and alive, so in that, this is simply a prod to encourage you in the right direction. I add that this basic concept is important in and of itself and merits more detailed examination too.

“Key word” is a concept that generally comes up in a job search in a specific context:

• When you draft a resume to submit it to a prospective employer.
• They enter it into a resume database along with a flood of other resumes.
• And you want your resume to come up in the search results when that employer searches that database to find matches for specific jobs.

This is, in fact a much more widely significant concept than just that and the basic idea behind key words should enter into every phase of any job search campaign.

When you are first determining what your best next job would be you probably come up with a list of recurring words and concepts that would enter into any best fit job description for you.
• When you are identifying target industries and organizations within them to apply to, a key to success in that is the informational interview. This is where you can most effectively learn the language as used by professionals in the field and position, and type of company you seek to work with. This is where you learn to more effectively present yourself as an insider.

Language, and knowing and using the right terms and jargon are in effect a right of passage in vetting yourself as the right person for the job, and even where it is a job that does not rely heavily on communications skills. If you only start thinking in terms of how the people where you want to work talk when you are drafting your resume and cover letter for them, you are missing real opportunities to know and to connect, and to prepare yourself for great interviews. You limit your chances of being hired as that best fit of all candidates considered.

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