Résumé writers, career coaches, and employment websites, have come to the same conclusion: Buzzwords are in.

By using a proprietary algorithm to analyze over 33,000 technical terms to find the most relevant and frequent keywords used by each technical industry, a technical employment website called NoNovice.com allows job seekers to improve their résumés and become more visible to potential employers. This buzzword analysis feature is available at http://www.nonovice.com/buzzwords.aspx.

It is comforting to know that I, as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer / Career Coach serving clients since 1989, and NoNovice.com have come to the same conclusion, albeit different routes.

While I follow industry trends, read industry-related books, and converse with industry leaders, this algorithm-focused website provides hard-core analysis. Concurrently, we have concluded that 9 out of 10 employers use OCR scanning technology to pre-qualify employment candidates. In other words, no single human eye views a single word on a resume or cover letter UNLESS buzzwords and the OCR scanning technology work in synergy.

Why (the heck) would I pour my heart and soul into each and every word that I write on my clients’ resumes and cover letters if each and every word was not going to be viewed by prospective employers?

I agree with NoNovice.com’s prediction that computer science, electrical engineering, and information systems will most likely be among the most desired technical disciplines in 2011, and that mobile data services and enterprise data processing may well drive hiring trends.

However, it is my contention that “soft skills,” featuring such attributes as communications, conflict resolution, negotiation, personal effectiveness, creative problem solving, team building, influencing, and selling, are required to create “well-rounded” professionals. Simply put, when hiring authorities staff their organizations with “techies,” employees with “soft skills” are required to translate technical jargon into user-friendly communications, thereby establishing customer-centric environments.

Further, it is my contention that depressed hiring markets will become increasingly depressed if organizations, flooded with “techies,” do not have staff who can communicate with the public. The situation becomes akin to the physician lacking in bedside manners. Although gifted as a clinician, the doctor sans personality cannot create and sustain a thriving practice.

The technical skills, cited by NoNovice.com as having the most clout in 2011, are:

Java Sharepoint Pharmaceuticals
SQL Embedded Systems Virtualization
Digital Signal Processing Polymers AJAX
Algorithm Development Pharmaceuticals Android
Telecommunications Firewalls Composites
Radio Frequency (RF)

No doubt, in a depressed hiring market, NoNovice.com makes an excellent point. Technical skills are increasingly relevant when jobs are scarce. However, my point remains and comes in the form of a question: “Customer relationship management . . . anyone?”

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