Many job application portals use an automated process to rank your resume based on how many "keywords" it matches. I have heard that due to this, you should tailor your resume for every position by "keyword bombing" your resume.
I see a few issues with this approach:
- Even though the practice may be widespread, it could turn away potentially good candidates.
- It would be pretty obvious when a human reads it, which can't reflect well on the candidate.
- Most people will not match the HR's description exactly.
- A candidate may only get matched to menial entry level position, even though he is qualified for better positions.
It is time consuming to rewrite your resume for every position, and difficult to back it up with, "yes, I do match your description exactly." In fact, my other experiences enable me to learn on the job or at least pick it up quickly, even if I do not have all the skills matching the description.
I am aware of the option of using a generic resume, with a cover letter carrying additional details describing how my skills match to a specific position. However, very often, an employer does not want you to follow up, and will instead contact you only if you "pass the initial screening."
In view of these scenarios, is it an acceptable practice to stuff keywords in your resume to improve your chances of passing the initial automated screening? Is this practice acceptable to hiring managers or does it actually hurt my chances of getting a good job?