Is resume optimizing cheating?
So recently I reposted a few posts to help people looking for work. One of the posts was about optimizing a resume for ATS and resume databases. I posted or reposted it, and got some interesting feedback form a few recruiters. One said I was telling their secrets, that by telling candidates how to optimize their resumes it will mean they will have more junk resumes to read. Another said it was cheating or falsifying a resume.
I replied to both. For the first I said, you can look at it that way or you can look at it as an opportunity to find great resumes that you might have overlooked because you were searching for one key word that was not in a candidates resume. Example I used was if you are looking for a “Visual Basic” developer and all you do is look for “Visual Basic” then every candidate who uses VB instead will not get pulled up. Now of course I do know that most experienced recruiters will search under both terms knowing they are the same. However there are allot of young in experienced database recruiters who will not. Also add in you might be looking for something allot more involved than VB and there might be other terms that can be used or the skill or software was called something else at one time. This will especially help recruiters who do not do research prior to sourcing.
For the second I simply said how is it cheating? How is it falsifying anything? All you are doing is ensuring the skills you have can be picked up no matter what buzz words are used to source. You are not lying, just optimizing there is a huge difference. I went on to ask are you cheating or falsifying a job description (JD) when you optimize it? Of course not you are simply ensuring that the JD will come up in a search as close to the top as possible no matter what word the candidates searches for. It is no difference for a candidates and their resume.
In the end they both reluctantly agreed with me. So the morale is Optimizing is not cheating it is simply smart.