Get an EU job (part 3): Keywords, findability and your CV

 

This article was first published on the Online EU Training blog

In the age of Google and Facebook, being findable has become the most important asset you can have.

Websites are optimised to show up as the 1st hit in Google when specific words are searched. But what about your CV when those searching for an EU expert, a Greek translator, a consultant with experience in the European Parliament, type in those magic words into LinkedIn, a recruitment database, or EPSO’s e-laureates list? Adding the right words into your profile description can make or break a job interview invitation.
EPSO has created a huge database of contract agents (CAST exams) who have all passed the exam and are eligible. How will a Head of Unit looking for an assistant in the field of consumer protection find the right person if your personal description does not contain the expression or terminology they are seeking? Or an NGO’s EU affairs office has access to a large database of Brussels job seekers: nobody will read each and every word of the applicants’ email: they will simply run a search based on various criteria…and keywords.
So how should you approach this problem? The best is to look at it as an opportunity: as a first step, identify the keywords that a prospective employer will use when narrowing down a pile of 85 CVs into 12. Are you applying for an environmental adviser post? Use Google, online dictionaries and keyword suggestion tools to come up with ideas (words) that you can include in your CV, profile description and cover letter for “environmental expert”, “CO2 emissions”, “Emission Trading Scheme” and others.
Consider using a MindMap or Visual Thesaurus as well. ┬áDo not repeat the same word many times: the more synonyms you can come up with, the better. The more colourful your profile can be: the better. In your LinkedIn profile, make sure you mention both the “EU” and the “European Union”, as you may never know which words a head-hunter will apply. Be creative, imaginative and diversify as much as your vocabulary allows!
After all, to get an EU job in the age of electronic databases, there is only one word to remember: findability.

 

 

Posted in Online EU Training

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