Hiring managers scan resumes pretty quickly (some studies put it at just a matter of seconds). So, what do they see in that quick glance? With so little time to review so many resumes, a few key skills and experiences become important in identifying candidates who’ll move onto the second round of review.
Ryan Galloway over at The Hired Guns suggests a quick and easy way to see which keywords are most present on your resume—using a word cloud app. It’s simple: You paste your resume into a word cloud generator like TagCrowd, and the app will create an image representing the most common words, with more common ones showing up larger and darker. With a quick glance, you’ll be able to see what terms the employer will most associate with you—and whether you need to do some adjusting to your resume to have the right terms stand out more.
I did a quick test with my resume to see how it worked:
If I was applying to another position in editorial, I’d be happy to see how prominent “articles,” “edit,” and “editorial” are—but the number of times “student” and “orientation” show up hints that it’s probably time to cut down on my bullets for those old college jobs (or toss them out entirely).
Certainly, other things will affect how the hiring manager perceives you as a candidate, like the organization of your resume and your actual experience. But this is a quick way to see if you’re giving enough attention to the things that matter most.
Share your resume word cloud in the comments below!