Resumes and Word Clouds – Get Creative!

Word Cloud
Have you ever heard of Word Clouds?  For those of you who haven’t, a Word Cloud is a bunch of text that gets jumbled around and made into a picture.  As a Creative Director I’ve made a few of them myself, and they’re pretty cool.  They make things much more visually stimulating, and there are a lot of different settings so you can pick your font, color scheme, design, shape, etc.

How Can Word Clouds Help You?

  1. Pinpoint keywords on your resume
  2. Find target skills in job descriptions

How to Make a Word Cloud

Making a Word Cloud is pretty simple.  Just go to wordle.net and click on “Create Your Own” on the left side of the page. Once you get to the “Create Your Own” page you will see a big text box.  Take all the text you want to use, paste it into that box and click Go.   Note: You need to have Java enabled on your computer to make this work.  If you don’t have Java, you will get a prompt to download it (don’t worry, having Java won’t harm your computer in any way and is perfectly safe).

Pinpointing Keywords on Your Resume

You already know that you should be tailoring every resume to the specific position where it’s being sent.  You want to have keywords relating to that position all over your resume.  That way when the hiring manager reads it, those keywords will pop out, and they'll call you because you’re obviously a great fit for the position!

I’m sure you’re sitting there thinking, “How the heck will Word Clouds help me tailor my resume?”  Well here’s the thing, whichever words are abundant in the text you paste into the text box on Wordle will be the biggest in the cloud.  If you have the word “marketing” on your resume 6 times and “sales” on your resume 2 times, “marketing” will be noticeably bigger when you look at your cloud.  So drop your resume into Wordle and see which words are the biggest.  Are they irrelevant words?  Are they words that don’t have much to do with the job which you are applying?  Adjust accordingly.  If you make your resume keyword rich for whatever position you are applying to, you will get more and faster responses.  The most important words on your resume should be the largest in your Word Cloud.

Finding Target Skills in Job Descriptions

Pick a job description, and do the same thing that we did with your resume; drop it into the text box on Wordle, and change it into a Word Cloud.  What are the biggest words that pop up?  Do they match your background?  Are they words that make you say, “Yes! That’s what I’m looking for!”  This will give you an idea of what the keys are for that job; what is most important, and does it relate to what you do and what you are looking for in a new position?

Putting the Two Together

After you change a job description into a cloud, and decide it’s a job you’re really interested in that matches what you do, take notice of the biggest words in the cloud.  Then go to your resume, and (if you have the experience of course) add those words to your resume where it makes sense to do so.  Now your resume will have the same keywords that the hiring manager is looking for all over it!  It’s been said that hiring managers and recruiters spend about 15 seconds looking at a resume.  15 seconds!  That isn’t much time to get noticed, but if you have those keywords on your resume you will stand out.

Honesty

Always Be Honest

I can’t stress enough that it’s never okay to lie on your resume.  If your skills don’t match the job description by at least 60%, don’t apply.  Only apply to positions that match your background and the skill set that you currently have.  Don’t alter or fluff your resume based on a job description, just because you really want the job, if you in fact do not have those skills.  Always be honest.

Get Creative!

Now go hop on Wordle and get to creating!  This is a fun, unique way to tailor your resume to each specific position.

We Want to Know!

Have you tried the Word Cloud technique?  Leave a comment and let us know how it worked!
Do you have other unique advice on how to match your resume to specific job descriptions?  We’d love to hear them!

Please share this blog with your network to give other job seekers more ideas!

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