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Wordle Your Job Search

Candidates Find Help in the Clouds

By Bonnie Johnson, AgCareers.com Marketing Associate

Every once in a while you need to reevaluate the vital components of your job search toolkit– your resume and cover letter. Word clouds can be part of a simple exercise regimen that will help you refine your toolkit and support job search success.

Word clouds are a creative visual technique that showcase word frequency in text. Clouds allow you to see what keywords the employer is emphasizing, and in turn, what your resume is highlighting. Wordle™ is one example of an easy-to-use, free online tool for generating word clouds from text you provide. Words that appear more frequently in your text will be larger in the cloud. This makes it easy for you to pick out the prominent words from the cloud.

Word Clouds & Your Application

Does the job application process frustrate you? Are you constantly wondering what really happened to your application; was it lost somewhere in cyber space?

You’ve probably been told that a customized cover letter for each application is a must. So is building keywords from the employers’ job descriptions into your resume. Some employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to sort through the numerous applications they receive.The technology within the ATS system is designed to search your resume for particular keywords and phrases that match the job they are trying to fill. If your resume doesn’t include these keywords, it may never make it into the hands of the hiring manager.

If you’ve found a job you are interested in applying for, begin by creating a word cloud from the employer’s job description. Copy the entire text of the description, paste it into the Wordle™box and go!

The larger the word appears in the cloud, the more times it appears in the job description. These words are certainly significant to the employer and are more important for you to build into your cover letter and resume. You can do the same thing when you examine the company website for more information about their culture and values. Create a word cloud with this information and build the emphasized words into the phrases you use in your cover letter and resume.
After you have a final draft of your resume and cover letter, work from the opposite direction using a word cloud. Copy and paste your entire resume into Wordle™ and create a cloud. What words are emphasized? Do these match the job description? Refine your resume with the clues given from your word cloud exercise. Furthermore, this exercise may help you determine if you are truly qualified for the position.

Word Clouds & Your Resume

Are you overhauling your resume? When you are creating or revamping your resume, you want to make sure it captures a true picture of you!

Word clouds also help job seekers who are just starting out, creating a new resume, revamping an old one, or haven’t yet found a position to apply for. Create a word cloud using your resume. What words really stand out? Do they create a true picture of your abilities, skills and talents? Is this how you want to be presented to a potential employer?

Wordle is one example of a free online word cloud creator: http://www.wordle.net/

To find other services, simply Google “word cloud.”