Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not just for marketing professionals and companies. It can also be very useful for individuals, especially when creating a resume. SEO is a practice that aims to increase performance of web content by focusing on user experience (UX) and Search. UX involves ease of use, accessibility, and overall success of the user journey through the content. Search involves the listing, grouping, and presentation of your content for awareness and interaction. Each of these factors can thoroughly improve your resume’s performance online; read below to find out how.
User Experience (UX)
The internet has seen many approaches to SEO in its history. Sneaky and roundabout tactics, which often compromised UX in pursuit of content performance, are now frowned upon, in a movement to abandon these ‘black-hat’ practices. The alternative to black-hat SEO is generating quality content with a focus on UX. Search engines and companies alike now favor this holistic approach to web design, stressing a people-first attitude.
Fitting this into your resume can very easy. Start off by choosing a simple template, one with few graphics and correct section formatting. This helps keep your resume easy to read, even if software reformats it. Next, you can begin to paraphrase your information. Talk plainly, and be vigilant for grammatical and format errors. Mistakes in your resume can hide it from search results as well as hurt the user experience of reading it. The goal is to relax your reader’s effort so that they can spend more energy comprehending your information. There might be sections of your resume which demand more density, and that’s okay, just be sure to optimize readability where possible.
Search is another large aspect of SEO, and it’s all about making content perform well in search results. Even though search engines now look at a number of criteria to determine high placement, keyword strategies are still a large part of the puzzle. Their importance is even greater to resume building strategies. While search results are holistically curated by a few big engines, resumes are often processed by private systems that do not necessarily approach Search the same way.
Using a keyword strategy to craft your resume will help it appear under more eyes. You should target the keywords properly, so take some time to visualize a goal when making your resume. This will help you use the right words, the very same that employers type in databases when they look for applicants. Google Keyword Planner can be a very helpful SEO tool to find which keywords relate to each other, and LinkedIn also offers a service to generate keywords based on your title/aspirations.
Bringing It Together
Optimizing for both UX and Search SEO is a balancing act. The two practices can clash, so it’s important to give and take. Some sections will benefit more from UX, like intros and role descriptions, so make sure to focus on readability and simplicity. Others will benefit from keyword density, like education and skills sections, so make sure to take advantage of employers’ keyword strategies. If either aspect overshadows the other, your resume might not convert into interviews or jobs.
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