ATLANTA, GA - Quick post on a Friday afternoon. I have my watch's countdown timer set to ten minutes, and I am logging off when it gets to zero to go do something more productive. Bartender!
I am working on two major searches right now: A VP of Marketing search for a multichannel retailer based in the mid-west, and a VP of Ecommerce search for a northeastern two-channel retailer (catalog / online). I am in the early stages of both searches, and I have been reviewing resumes all day. I'm wiped.
What is Keyword Spam?
Keyword spam is a long string of words at the end of a resume put there by the job-seeker in the hopes of improving his chances that a recruiting researcher will find it in a given resume database. For example, here are the keywords at the bottom of a resume I just dredged up ...
RESUME KEYWORDS: online, on-line, interactive, ecommerce, e-commerce, ebusiness, e-business, marketing, internet, web, executive, COO, CEO, CMO, Chief Marketing Officer, CIO, EVP, SVP, Senior Vice President, VP, President, GM, Managing Director, multichannel, multi-channel, retail, retailer, etailer, e-tail, e-tailer, online retailer, product, product management, brand management, online marketing, SEO, search engine optimization, SEM, search engine marketing, paid search, affiliate marketing, email marketing, merchandising, merchandise, catalog, cataloger, direct marketing, direct marketer, six sigma, 6-sigma, business-to-business, B2B, B2C, business to consumer, CRM, education, content, strategy, business process, public relations, media, French, international, multinational, apparel, clothing, fashion, jewelry, accessories, luxury, designer, branding, finance, bank, banking, home furnishings, private sector, not for profit, nonprofit, non-profit, environment, new media, entertainment, vision, leader, innovate, innovative, innovator.
You can't be all things to all recruiters.
Am I to believe that this candidate is qualified for both B2B and B2C C-level positions? I mean, "6-sigma .. education .. apparel .. luxury .. bank .. home furnishings .. not for profit .. entertainment?" I doubt it.
And that's my point.
Even if it were true, it's unbelievable. Candidates, it is always better to have a small, provable circle of competence that's sharply defined around the edges than one that's big and fuzzy. Specialize! Dominate!
As a marketing recruiter, I'm starting to think like Google: If I suspect that you are keyword loading your resume in a superficial way that diminishes [my] user experience, I am going to penalize you by moving you down in my [candidate] rankings.
That does not mean that you won't be considered for my searches. But it does mean that during our interviews, I am going to drill you pretty hard about each of these areas of expertise. Furthermore, I will instruct any technical consultants I'm using to screen candidates to do the same. So bring your "A-game."
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