I am on Pinterest a lot. I’m very obsessed with it actually. I love using it to find new recipes, look up cute decor ideas, and discover the latest workout trend that is surely going to help me get that six-pack (ha, we'll save that for another post, but I like nachos too much for six packs). And because I’m a career coach I pin a lot of career advice (username sarahbargcollins if you want to follow me and see all of that advice).
However, sometimes I find myself feeling frustrated because not all of the advice on Pinterest is GOOD advice.
The photo above is an example of a pin I pulled directly from my Pinterest page. This pin claims by adding these words to your resume you will get hired faster. It's a great pin because it's colorful, to the point, and promises easy wins, but will adding any of those words to your resume actually land you a job faster?
Maybe. But essentially that pin is encouraging you to mindlessly throw buzzy words onto your documents. Personally I would never recommend that to a client.
It comes as no surprise to me that this pin is advertising quick fixes. By following this pin to it's attached website you will find an etsy page selling resume templates. Now I am not hating on this person's business. You go, girl because being an entrepreneur is HARD.
But when it comes to actually building a resume, I'm not a big fan of quick fixes, which means I am not a fan of templates. Nothing about a resume should be that difficult. And if anything is going to be difficult it is going to be coming up with the right content, not the design. As much as I love a fancy, sleek looking resume, what I KNOW is that recruiters are not looking at the aesthetics of your resume. There just isn't enough time to consider the looks usually. I mean it should look clean and organized, but pretty? You can't cover weak content with cool fonts. You, however, can take a plain-Jane looking resume and write compelling, descriptive, tailored content and find that the interviews start rolling in.
Anyway, I have digressed from the main point...buzz words.
What’s better than throwing some buzzy words onto your resume? What’s proven to work? What should you be doing if you are looking for a new gig?
Be intentional about the words you use on your resume and cover letter. Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job description. Use the words directly from the job description.
The job description is your map to the treasure and the treasure is the new job you want.
Follow the map!
Sometimes when clients want to apply for a certain job the job description is very small and does not contain a lot of words. They then ask me how do they decide which words to include in their resumes and cover letters. I encourage them to find similar positions and look at those job descriptions, use those words. You can also put on your critical thinking cap and think about what you’ll be doing in the job and use those words. That might mean you look on Pinterest for lists like the above pin to gather ideas. I’m okay if you are using your resources and being strategic. What I’m not okay with is mindlessly throwing words on your resume just because you think they’ll magically get you the job.
Magic isn’t a great way to do a job search. Being intentional and strategic is typically much more effective. And this targeted, intentional, key-word rich way of shaping your resume and cover letter is all because of the applicant tracking system. However, I will save the details of the ATS for another post because it needs it's own article to shine.
If you’re struggling with you resume or cover letter... I get it! They are HARD (especially that pesky cover letter, right?!), but that is exactly why I have my business. I coach people on strategies and techniques to make job search documents to actually get you hired faster. Together we can work as a team to figure out which jobs you should be applying to, how to tailor your documents to get you an interview and then we will practice interview techniques to land you the role. And once you’ve accomplished all that I can even help you negotiate a higher salary.
If you like the way that sounds, go visit my coaching services page to see what plan works for you.