Don’t Send Your Résumé Until You Do THIS…

I am not a huge fan of customizing a résumé for every position one applies to (I think that time could be better spent networking) but I do think having one (possibly two) résumés that hit the major key words and key experiences of a functional area can be very beneficial.

One of my favorite new ways of doing this is to use a tool call Wordle, a  tool for generating “word clouds” from text that the user provides. The cool thing here is that the more frequently a word appears in the text you provide the bigger it will appear in the picture that is produced.

If I was looking for a job today I could (and should and would) find several (10+) recruiting job descriptions from across the country from sites like Monster and CareerBuilder, put them into a tool like Wordle, get the results and then do the same with my résumé and compare the output (see below). If the same words are enlarged in both I could rest assured that my marketing document was hitting the mark, if not I would probably want to go adjust a few things.

Until next time, good hunting and good luck!



9 responses to “Don’t Send Your Résumé Until You Do THIS…

  1. Matt,

    Also think how relevant this could be for those in sales too – knowing what their customer values uses wordle prior to a presentation (internally or externally) or even the technical specifications of a product description they need for Estimating, Design, and a number of other things… survey comments too. I think this is a great tool for all actually. Engineers are constantly “selling” so this makes sense to me – just need to be creative with what we “Wordle”.


  2. Thanks. Good information. I will pass this along to my IT students.

  3. What a great concept. Using a discovery tool to shape your profile to make it more attactive by making it conform to expectations. I like this. This idea needs further development I think,

  4. Fascinating! I write phone scripts for cold calling and this would be a great tool to test if I’m really getting across what I intend to. My resume looked the way I expected when I tried it, but a little tweaking would be helpful since I’m in the job hunt. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. I always enjoy your blog posts, Matt, and am happy when they show up in my LinkedIn digest. I think Wordle is a great tool, and have been using it with our students for a little over a year now. Two important considerations, though, I think:

    1) It will not catch essential keywords that only appear once in the job description(s). Certainly, words that are repeated are likely to be important to the job, but job seekers should still read the job descriptions carefully to pick up on any others. Your process of Wordle-ing 10 descriptions at once is an interesting work-around, but I personally advocate for customizing the resume to each individual job.

    2) I generally recommend pasting one’s resume into Wordle only to see if words are unnecessarily repeated. I don’t believe that any words need be repeated on a resume enough times that they show up noticeably bigger and bolder in Wordle, particularly at the new graduate level, which is what I primarily work with. In fact, if content is repeated on a resume, I feel the words should be variations of themselves (e.g. communicate and communication) in order to be caught by an increased number of keyword search possibilities, rather than the same word letter-for-letter.

  6. This is one of the most unique apps I have ever seen. Extremely useful on so many levels. Thanks Matt.

  7. Hello Matt,

    Great tip! I was relying on more antiquated sources (like the Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook) for keywords to use in my resume.

  8. Pingback: Avoid Looking Like A Hack On LinkedIn (+ A Recipe For Success) | A Recruiters Guide to the Universe

  9. Wordle is a cool, cool, cool tool. Thank you for sharing it! Erik’s comments are valid, and should be kept in mind, but this is a very useful tool.

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