Using the Right Keywords in Your Resume

Resume software searches for your keywords

Resume software searches for your keywords

If you are currently looking for a new job, you might want to revamp your resume. Companies everywhere are starting to use software programs and resume databases to search for applications and resumes matching the keywords that they target. Other employers are so overwhelmed by the huge number of resumes that they receive on a daily basis, that they streamline their hiring process by digitizing resumes, storing them in a database, and searching for ideal candidates using keywords.

In today’s tech-savvy world of keywords and search engine technology, if you resume doesn’t contain the right job-specific keywords, then your resume may never make it out of the candidate database, even if you’re fully qualified for the job. Therefore, as a job seeker you need to make sure that you are using the right keywords on your resume if you want your resume to get noticed. There are many ways of making sure that you have the keywords that will help you land a job interview.

It is important to research the company and the position that you are applying for. Determine keywords by reading through the job description or company website, and include the words that pop up repeatedly in your resume. First, you want to include a target job title and include it towards the top of your resume, which is an area that is favored by algorithms. You should also include a “performance profile” – which describes your ability to do the job – and a description of your professional skills towards the top.

Keyword nouns tend to be the “hard” skills, industry-specific qualifications, and job-specific terms that employers look for in a job candidate. Some of the general skill and qualification areas to consider when listing your keywords are: degree or certifications, university or college names, job titles, product names, technical terms, company names, computer lingo, and industry jargon. While it may seem strange to do so, repeating your professional skills two or three times farther down the resume – where you talk about your past employment experiences – can double or triple your resumes’ ranking in a search that uses those words. It is recommended that you use an average of eight keywords.

The design and format of these text-based or scannable resumes is different than a traditional resume. Beyond having specific keywords related to the job description, standard font and a normal type size should be utilized. Formatting should be kept simple, and it’s best to avoid bullets or lines. Many companies list their specific guidelines for submitting text-based resume on their websites, so you should check each potential employer’s website before submitting your resume to them.


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