I wanted to quickly share a tip that might serve you well next time you’re applying for a job. “Wordclouds” have been around for a little while now and (among other things) are a nice, quick, automated way of generating an infographic-style presentation out of what would otherwise just be blocks of text.
Personally I have mixed views about them. I’m not sold on their value as a presentation tool (an opinion perhaps influenced by their apparent ubiquity!). But, I have found an activity in which they do feel useful – job hunting.
When applying for a job, try these two things:
1) Stick the pertinent bits of a post’s description (i.e. skip the organisation blurb, recruitment instructions etc.) into a wordcloud generator (see the list at the end). The words that appear most frequently will give you a reasonable clue as to what the recruiters are looking for.
2) When you’ve drafted your covering letter/supporting statement and tweaked your CV to fit the post (you do do that, don’t you?!), stick them into a wordcloud generator as well to see if your key words match the recruiter’s. If you’re a stickler for readability (i.e. me) it’ll also tip you off if you’ve used dull or meaningless words too often.
It’s a revealing and, I’ve found recently, very useful exercise.