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It has come to my attention that companies will rank resumes based on buzz words and only look at those that have high scores assuming enough people submit for the position.

I don't like this system but still want a job, so instead of inserting these meaningless terms into my actual resume I've compiled a list of such terms and am going to incorporate the list into my resume in a text box with white text.

The problem is that I don't know how those scoring engines work (is there an application most employers use?) and so I can't be sure if I should maximize the terms I put in, if I should repeat terms, or if I should maximize the effective terms put in because number of words matter.

I have entered my resume on Rezscore with and without the buzz word metadata and found my resume score significantly lowered with buzz words because it was so verbose.

Does anyone have more knowledge of these resume ranking systems?

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  • $\begingroup$ I got C-, the words I use are too short... $\endgroup$ – RockScience May 20 '11 at 5:03
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    $\begingroup$ I would suggest you try different words and see what works and what doesnt..you can take the null hypothesis as "buzzwords do not matter" and see if you can reject it or not. $\endgroup$ – ayush biyani May 20 '11 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ Ayush, I was hoping to find a quick solution, also, I'm not sure if Rezscore is representative of other resume schemes. $\endgroup$ – Joseph Coco May 20 '11 at 7:20
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    $\begingroup$ @user654914 -- sorry,I dont think there is any quick soln to the problem..we cant be sure of the way rezscore or likes work. I think we can just hypothesize. $\endgroup$ – ayush biyani May 20 '11 at 7:25
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    $\begingroup$ Hey all, Sean here from RezScore - happy to explain anything about the algorithm that you'd like to know. If you a have a more specific question, I'd love to answer it and go into detail (I'm pretty proud of what we built :) $\endgroup$ – user4696 May 20 '11 at 21:40
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I contacted Sean at RezScore and he clarified some things for me. In a nutshell, inserting buzzwords into a hidden text box seems to be a good idea if you don't want to put them in your actual resume. However, you should be selective about which words you include because many of the algorithms penalize verbosity.

Maybe RezScore will include a feature to do just this for specific industries, I'd bet it would be cheaper than a resume rewrite.

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