Good Keywords

Q.: I’m looking for an accountant. What are some good keywords to use in such a search on the Internet? A.: Good keywords are critical for conducting any search. You want to come up with words and phrases that only Qualified candidates will use on their resumes. If your search terms are too broad or common, you’ll get lots of irrelevant pages. The best way to come up with such terms is to spend time reviewing the req’s, talking to the hiring manager, and doing some investigation on the Web. Ask yourself questions about the functions the candidate must perform. Are you looking for a general accounting position or someone who is a registered public accountant or a CPA? Different states classify accountants in different ways. Or do you need someone with tax experience; perhaps a commercial preparer or an enrolled agent? Maybe what you’re really after is a payroll clerk or a bookkeeper. To find candidates you need to know exactly who you’re after. Consider the types of programs that are used in this position. Excel and Lotus might not be useful keywords but Peachtree, ACCPAC or MYOB might be. Look into professional associations and organizations as well, such as AICPA and NSPA. The Internet offers many resources, take advantage of them. When you’re ready to start searching, make sure you use a search engine that does a good job of examining the Web, one that will provide you with lots of fresh, relevant links. For example, engines such as AltaVista and Northern Light are good ones to use because they are updated frequently and have large databases. Finally, spend some time learning how to use the search engine properly. Each one works differently and requires the use of specific syntax and commands. If you don’t know how to describe what you’re looking for, you can’t expect a search engine to bring back the results you want.

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T.J. Ripley is a journalist and Web explorer who contributes to AIRS research and writing. The AIRS Search Guide acts as your personal trainer, guiding you through our Advanced Internet Recruitment Strategies (AIRS) in a highly illustrated offline magazine. Each issue is full of new sourcing strategies, search examples, step-by-step procedures, and AIRS latest research for finding high-value passive candidates on the Internet. Contact AIRS at


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