How to Quickly Select Keywords for Your Resume

MAY 6, 2011 | BY MICAH

Resumes need to have industry keywords. Listing accomplishments are great – and important – but you need to also have keywords sprinkled throughout your resume. They serve three purposes:

  • They demonstrate to the interviewer you have knowledge of the industry.
  • They stand out to the hiring manager as qualities they look for.
  • They help your chances if your resume is put into a searchable database.

Many companies are scanning resumes into databases and using keywords to search for qualified applicants. However, even if that is not the case for the employer, it is still a good idea to make sure your resume has the appropriate keywords for improving drawing the eye of the hiring manager.

How to Find Keywords

If you are short on time and want to quickly find keywords to draw the attention of the hiring manager, your best bet is to use the following system.

  • First Search the Job Description – The job description will have keywords that are probably important for the job. Integrating as many of them as you can into your resume without affecting its quality is a good start. Also, don’t forget synonyms and synonymous programs. For example, if the job asks for HTML knowledge, it means the company is looking for coding, so it may be to your benefit to list other types of coding as keywords (PHP, Java, etc.). Consider those synonymous, even if they are not in the job description.
  • Review Other Job Descriptions – Many of these jobs have similarities to other jobs. Check other job descriptions for similar jobs at other companies and see what they offer. Chances are you will find other interesting keywords not listed in the original job description.
  • Search the Internet for Job Duties – Several websites list the standard duties of different positions, and within those job descriptions you can find additional keywords that will help you with your job search.

Those are the three fastest ways to find keywords. Also, don’t forget to use your own knowledge and work history. If you worked in a similar role, and know there may be a keyword that is important, integrate it into your resume. There is no harm, and you may find that that keyword makes the difference between getting a first interview and getting ignored.

Take Away Tips

  • Use keywords in your resume.
  • Look at job descriptions and Internet job duty listings.

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