Monday, November 9, 2009

Do You Need Keywords?

How Relevant are Keywords When Applying for a Job?

 It’s very important to add key words to your resume in a summary and include them in a description of your job history while writing down the duties at each job, according to Patrick Larkin, a recruiter at Superior Technical Resources, Inc. An average recruiter has to deal with the problem of selecting the right candidates to bid on jobs everyday. Sometimes a job candidate will leave out keywords in their resume listing only that they have experience but not describing what kind.
“ Just the other day I received resume information from an Administrator who failed to include any information about her 16 year career besides listing her job titles and dates. Employers want to know what you did at each job.” says Larkin.

Today’s recruiting businesses subscribe to database services that captures resumes from top search engines such as Career Builder, Dice, Monster and HotJobs and others. When you submit your resume on-line at these job sites it goes into a database where it’s reformatted according to job description, location, and contact information and sent electronically to different recruiting clients.

Recruiters have software which allow them to perform searches on these databases. The process involves entering criteria.

“Sometimes I enter up to five keywords to describe a job because no one thinks of the same exact keywords for every position.” added Larkin.

Other areas that should be included in the job history are technical skills and competencies.

The search results save thousands of hours for recruiters when they are trying to indentify the perfect candidate for a job. The recruiter reviews the results and calls or contacts the candidates whose background best matches the job description through email. At this point, the job seeker is encouraged to send a copy of their resume to the recruiter who will follows up with a telephone interview. If the candidate has the right experience, location and salary range their information is sent to an employer who decides which prospects they’d like to interview.

Looking for Job Leads as a Lobbyist

Tonight I attended a networking event for lobbyists or public relations professionals sponsored by Washington Network Group (Wing) ( There was a crowd of 90 well-dressed people who slowly meandered into a private room located at Bar Louie near Gallery Place and shared the hors oeuvres. The event partner was the American League of Lobbyists, founded in 1979 to enhance the professionalism, competence and ethical standards of lobbyists. The president of the group said he’d like young people to email their resumes to the American League of Lobbyists because the association has members who know of lobbying jobs. Employers who are looking for more experienced folks would like to see candidates who have a legislative background as an analyst and have run a Congressional Office.

I met an attractive woman in her mid-forties who said she was lobbying on her own for the environment. She’d been looking for a job for more than six months – her expertise was health care related—she was also selling insurance. She’d moved to the District two years before from Virginia and seemed discouraged. She said that it’s been very hard to find a new job—she’d been laid off and blamed her situation on age discrimination.

Another man who previously worked for the health care industry talked about his trade negotiations and policy experience. He had several master degrees and an MBA and was also was working on a doctorate in finance. He was getting flack from potential employers who apparently didn’t like the idea he was working on his Doctorate and so he wanted to leave it off his resume. One employer said that they were afraid to hire him because he would be too distracted working on his thesis.

One man started his own company called StrategiConneX International,LLC during the last two months working with groups who were devising strategies to grow their business and focused on helping POW’s. He makes connections for clients by introducing them to the right military contact where they can get funding. Starting his own company with partners has brought in some business with more jobs in the pipe line, he said.

Several people had their own businesses. One man had a software company that was intertwined with Congress providing data analysis to support a data warehouse for Congress. Another person who was looking for lobbyists in the Healthcare field gave me his card. A lot of people were attending the event for the first time such as a Business Development Officer Roumen Boudin from Eagle Bank.

A young man who was seeking a job as an energy lobbyist said he’d been looking for a year for work and had volunteered on the Hill for a Senator and for the Republican party as well as a few other organizations but still did not get a job, He had sent out 130 resumes received 10 phone interviews and nothing happened. He was very passionate about saving energy and was in a fight to gain more experience.

There were about eight women at the event, one had her own business in education and training, another had a graphics and publishing enterprise, and then there were two selling insurance. Bill Stokes an executive search consultant and a board member for WING, mentioned a man who has a digital IT business verifying negative things that are being said about job candidates and through his programming expertise is able to manipulate Google so that the negative feedback is buried and appears as search comment 500. He can’t get totally rid on negative events or comments but is able to bury it. For example, my friend who sued two companies she worked for and received a nice settlement has had a difficult time since then landing another job. At the previous company she worked for for eight years as a manager she was involved in a sexual harassment suit. It took her four years to get her present contract which is half her pay and will expire in February. She could use this firm.