Change the Focus of Your Online Résumé from Verbs to Nouns

A paper résumé may live only in your portfolio, but an online résumé can live anywhere during your job search — and, therefore, be discovered by just about anyone. If you can make your online résumé show up on a recruiter’s Google search, then who knows what possibilities may open up for you.

To get your résumé found on Google, you need to practice search engine optimization, or SEO, which is the art and science of making websites appear on a search engine’s first page. You can practice good SEO skills by sprinkling certain choice keywords — nouns that Google reads in a web page to determine the page’s relevance to a search query — throughout your résumé.

Traditional job seekers don’t write paper résumés with keywords in mind. Instead, they fill résumés with action-oriented verbs that describe what they did. But those verbs don’t translate well to an online résumé because people tend to search for nouns. For example, a recruiter may search for “Houston Project Manager in Oil Industry” — notice, no verbs.

Be sure to lightly pepper your online résumé with powerful keywords that search engines can find and use to create a search-results page.

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