Resume SEO Tips Regarding Company Names

Recruiters care very much about your current or most recent employer. Why? Because the fact that you work for that employers means you have an understanding of a specific industry space. Or because that employer has a history of hiring great talent. For these reasons, company names are frequently used as keywords in recruiters search engine strings. When it comes to searching, I have found that recruiters tend to fall into one of two camps: the broad searchers who gradually narrow their search results (starting with a big slate of candidates and filtering it down manually), or the narrow searchers who broaden their search results (by doing multiple searches) until they fill out their slate (I'm the latter, by the way). Either way, thinking about how you refer to your company on your resume is important, otherwise, you may not attract the recruiters that are looking for someone just like you (though you may attract the ones that are looking for someone kind of like you; those recruiters matter less). So a couple of tips for you that I have used or learned from other recruiters:

-When you refer to your company, spell it out, abbreviate it and describe it. For example, IBM might be IBM or I.B.M or International Business Machines. The best recruiters will have something in their search string that looks like this: AND (IBM OR I.B.M. OR "international Business Machines").

- I love this one. For a recruiter to do a web search including your current employer as a keyword, they may do something like this: AND Starbucks NEAR (Present OR Current). This means that the employer name of Starbucks is near the words "current" or "present" on the resume. Different search engines have different roles about what "near" means. I have seen job seekers use many different terms to describe the tenure of their current position; wording like "-til date" (which isn't even correct grammar) and "til now" (too conversational). See that all the time. I would definitely suggest using the words "current" or "present" to describe the tenure of your current position and I would definitely make sure that they fall within close proximity of your company name.

Some recruiters really get into Boolean logic and I admit that I am a little out of practice, but as I hear about these little tips and tricks, I will pass them along.

Comments (4)

  1. Bad_Brad says:

    Heather – insightful and informative as always about the wonderful world of recruiting, you are.  I have wondered myself about this.  I was hired into Microsoft out of Amazon, but I came from an Amazon fulfillment center in Kansas, not from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.  So I often wondered if a recruiter didn’t do a keyword search on Amazon in order to find me.  I suspect Microsoft recruiters do this on Amazon and vise versa on a daily basis, given that the two are in the same metro area and tend to need people with similar experience and skill sets.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Recruiters will also search companies in combo with city/state names if they know that a particular kind of operation exists for that company in a specific place.

  3. says:

    Hello Heather!

    Thank you for the tips.  Although I am SEO & SEM savvy, I am very new to the resume SEO world as I have never actually used online resources to seek out my next work home.  I am curious, what types of keywords would you enter for a Marketing Communications Manager position with Microsoft?  Thank you, again.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    I’d find the positions that you think are agreat fit for you on our careers site and look for the words they use to describe that work. I wouldn’t add anything to your resume that you haven’t done, obviously. But reading the job description will let you know how a specific company talks about a specific kind of work.

    Good luck!

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