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Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert
Mark has been involved in EDA recruiting for over 18 years. He is Founder and President of EDA Careers, but started his career in EDA as executive Vice President at EDA Jobs. Mark was also VP of Marketing and Business Development in the beginning of the Internet revolution and has been a … More »

The Most Important Column You Will Ever Read About KEYWORDS STRUCTURING In Your Resume…Hiring is Strong, Finding the Right Match is Incredibly Difficult…

 
September 19th, 2013 by Mark Gilbert

My headline says that finding the right match is incredibly difficult and I assure you it is for both sides. Having a properly structured resume with the right KEYWORDS will make a significant difference in whether or not your resume is even ever looked at. You must have the right elements in your resume for it to show up in a structured search for specific skill-sets. Let’s start with what is important in a resume and yes I know this is a continuation of my last column but there are points that must be pounded home and a few I did not address previously.

First to the obvious and what is critical…In todays rushed world, little time is given to thoroughness…if the person reviewing your resume does not see clearly the requirements of the position at first glance, it will be on to the next. Further, HR does much of the initial review and for moderately technical folks like myself, you better have terms I/we can understand! If you explain too deeply or too technically, we might not see what we are looking for. On the contrary, if you decide to brush over your skills, we might miss where you excel just the same. There is a right way to provide enough information and it comes to view by using easily recognized industry buzzwords that generically describe what you do.

Now for what is critical…and to take it further… past the human element…Companies and recruiters like myself use specific software that automatically extracts key words, phrases and their synonyms from your resume and if you do not have the precise words that clearly explain and are considered definitive to a skill, you will not come up in the specific search criteria that seeks out those specific types of candidates. Many folks go a step further and use white KEYWORDS that will be seen by the extraction engine of the software but not by the human looking at your resume. Since most companies (and recruiters like myself) have automated the process, you better make sure you have what I am looking for in your resume Let me give you an example, and remember; it is NEVER TOO LATE TO REDO or RESEND YOUR RESUME.

If I am looking for a front-end AE with say Logic design experience and System Verilog, I would perhaps (most likely) have as a search requirement… synthesis, simulation, Verilog, perhaps formal verification etc. So I set my search (as an example) as follows…I ask the program for someone with the following in their resume…

Someone that has Application Engineering (or related words that the synonym finder will see) OR (perhaps) Design experience…
AND Synthesis OR simulation OR Logic Design…
AND System Verilog OR Verilog OR VHDL…
AND lives in Ca.

Being engineers, I am sure you get the idea…the more focused KEYWORDS that you list in your resume, the more likely you will come up in the search. You can easily see that if you brushed over any of this and did not include these words in your resume, I/we won’t find you and while you might be amazing, you will simply not show up in the search. It is that simple. And this holds true for every discipline. If you are in Sales and a company wants someone that has sold Analog… and you do not have Analog sales experience specifically in your resume…guess what? YOU ARE OUT OF LUCK as I set Account Manager (and associated synonyms) AND Analog as my search criteria, so I target specifically what a company wants and because you did not have it in your resume, you did not come up and have the chance to be considered. I should add that we also do manual searches and review resumes on merit but as automation continues to become critical to managing hiring, you need to do all you can to make sure you are not left out simply because you left out critical information. Whatever your domain, think about the most recognizable, most easily defined words that show your skills and make sure they appear in your resume. HR will clearly see them, a program will clearly see them, and rushed hiring managers will clearly see them.

This is such an interesting time in the EDA hiring cycle. While there are people either looking or contemplating looking, the folks hiring are making it more difficult than ever to actually pull the trigger and hire. I find this amazing as companies are in need and wanting to hire yet it is harder than ever to find those needles in a haystack that everyone is looking for. The problem is simple…all to often both sides (Company/Candidate) have unrealistic expectations of whom they need to hire or the kind of position they are willing to accept. In today’s robust market where companies are (in many cases) in such a desperate need to find people, it is surprising to see the number of candidates that get passed up and even more remarkable, some of the reasons why. As I have discussed before, more often than not this is due to inexperienced hiring managers or inexperienced folks the hiring managers designate to do the interviewing. They forget how they started, the opportunities they were given to excel and that often, even the best hires do not perform as expected. Now certainly there are plenty of terrific folks doing the hiring that get the process and manage it brilliantly. However, a clear recipe for failure is when a hiring manager has unrealistic expectations of what they believe a person must demonstrate “in an interview”. Add the ingredients of help and nurture and you might be very surprised at the type of candidate you are able to cook up to your delight. The best dishes are prepared with a little TLC.

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