Dear Wondering: Your resume may be getting tossed aside by the computerized screening systems that most employers use these days to winnow huge numbers of resumes down to a manageable few, says Mark Lyden
, who wrote a book aimed at new grads called "Do This!
($16.00; see www.dothisgethired.com) that's jam-packed with insider tips on getting the job you want -- from how to get an interview to coming out on top in salary negotiations.
"If your resume doesn't contain the exact same keywords and phrases as the job description for a given opening, using precisely the same terms, you are probably going to be invisible to these systems -- and to the people using them," Lyden
0:00 /1:25Beyond banking for grads
Luckily, there are ways to make sure you show up on employers' radar screens, says Lyden, a veteran college recruiter at Boeing.
The key is what he
calls "reverse engineering" your resume, and you can do it in seven steps:
1. Pinpoint the jobs you might want.
Before you do anything else, go to the websites of the five companies you have targeted and get the job descriptions of specific openings that interest you.
2. Take your cue from the job descriptions.
Next, "mark the precise words and phrases that describe the skills and knowledge someone has decided are necessary for each job," Lyden
"The person doing the screening may not know that FEA stands for 'finite element analysis,' so your resume may never get a second glance," says Lyden