Unraveling the Resume Keyword-Packing Myth

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Analyzing applicant tracking systems and stuffing your resume full of keywords are popular activities right now. In reality, the purported “science of resumes” and the idea you must perform a hairsplitting task of gaming your resume to meet algorithmic settings are both exaggerations, in my experience.

While you certainly must sprinkle words (nouns, verbs, adjectives and such) into your resume that reflect the target audience’s (company, industry sector, job description) requirements, focusing heavily on this task will shift your focus away from what really matters: focusing your resume and job search.

In my latest post over at U.S. News, I unravel the keyword-packing myth with five key points, including:

1. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) vary.

2. Not every company uses ATS screening.

3. Human beings read your resume.

4. (You should instead) Net-weave your way into an interview.

5. You have a story to tell.

I hope you will read the full story, here: You Don’t Need to Pack Your Resume with Keywords.

2 Responses to “Unraveling the Resume Keyword-Packing Myth”

  1. Hi Jacqui,
    Although I’m not currently writing a resume, I think some of the points you present are transferable to blog posts.

    Thank you for reminding us not to get distracted from the ultimate goal – whether it be landing that just-right career, or writing a post that piques the interest of one’s readers.

  2. Hello Marianna,
    Great point! Keeping in mind the ‘story’ and the ‘human being reading the content’ also applies to blog writing.

    Thank you for connecting those dots!


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