Trigger Words – Is Your Resume Full of Them?

In today’s climate of downsizing, closings, and unemployment – can your resume compete and get noticed?

Our economic climate is not the only factor to consider. Recruitment has changed dramatically within the last 10 years. The majority of recruitment is handled through automated application systems. If you’ve ever applied to recruitment engines such as or you’ll know that ‘black hole’ feeling. You fill out all of the necessary information, attach your resume, and click ‘submit’. Then what? It’s a waiting game. You and thousands of other applicants hope that your application will be THE ONE. Have you ever wondered what’s happening on the other side – the employer’s side?

Here’s the process from the employer’s side of online recruitment engines:

1. The employer has the option of either searching for resumes manually or having the system match resumes to an open position. Either way, if your resume does not have the correct trigger words, and A LOT OF THEM, then your resume will never get looked at.

If the employer is searching for specific resumes then he/she will fill out a list of ‘key words’ that must be present in the resume.

Here’s an example: The employer has an open Accounting position available.

He/she will search for key words such as…

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • General Ledger, etc.

The recruitment engine will then scan the resumes of all the applicants. It will go through and highlight the Key Words (trigger words) in each resume.

2. Then, it scores each resume according to the number of trigger words present in the resume. It will then reply back to the employer with a list of all of the resumes. This list could contain thousands of resumes.

Here’s the most important part of the process…

3. When the employer receives this list of resumes it is sorted by RATING. The recruitment engine will sort these resumes by the score (number trigger words found in the resume). This means, if there are 100 resumes with 20 key words and YOUR RESUME only has 19 key words – guess what? There is a strong possibility that the employer will find strong matches to their open position before even getting through all 100 resumes. That means your resume will never get looked at.

Where does that leave you? It leaves your resume unread and not even considered for that job. But keep these tips in mind, and consider working with a certifed resume expert and you’ll greatly boost your chances of getting noticed!


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