Two Key Phrases for Your Admin Job Hunt

Michele Warg
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Admin jobs can be hard to come by. As with any scarce and valuable commodity, the competition for admin jobs can be tight. If you're ever going to get anywhere in the field, you're going to need to stand out from the great mass of other job seekers and get noticed by your next employer. Coming to the application process with all of the experience and skills you need to thrive in the position is useless if your application is discarded at an early stage. That's why it's important to craft your application and resume carefully, with an eye on key phrases that help you move from application to interview.

The first hurdle you face in pursuing admin jobs is the automatic screener. This is usually a simple agent program that scans through your electronically submitted resume seeking key words and phrases that correspond to the desired admin job description. The algorithm is simple: if the admin job description calls for "5+ years' experience," and your application indicates "1-3 years," your application won't be passing along for human review, let alone progressing to the interview stage.

This is why key words and phrases are so important to include in your application. At the very least, they'll get you past the electronic bouncer to where a human being can see your unique talents. For admin jobs, the emphasis is usually on experience and job skills; therefore, each key phrase should explicitly state a skill. "Proficient in [name of office software]" is a good example. If the job posting you're replying to is looking for admin professionals who know Excel, use Excel in your phrase. If the company is looking for Access or another database program, use its name rather than a general "proficient in various programs" catchall.

Another thing your robotic screener is usually programmed to look for is experience. Again, as with the skills portion, the trick is to be as specific as you possibly can. In addition to any "years of experience" drop-down menus, be sure to include a mention of your experience in the body of your application. "Managed 200-person office for six years" is a great, descriptive phrase. Make sure the experience you claim is as accurate and specific as possible.

Getting past the automatic screening process is your first challenge in landing the admin jobs you're looking for. Key words and phrases, carefully crafted with an eye toward the search algorithms, are your ticket to the interview stage for the admin jobs you're looking for.


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