The Importance of Keywords

Keywords play an important role in the candidate selection process. When a hiring manager reviews your resume, there are specific words that are being sought out in your resume. Your resume must have the right keywords (action words) in order to get the attention of prospective employers. The reason that these action words play such an important role is that employers want to be sure you have the requisite skills before proceeding to contact you.

How do you know which words are the most important?

Research – Research – Research

By this time, hopefully, you are aware of the necessity of targeting your resume to a specific position (and even a specific employer when possible). Understanding what key words to use is as easy as looking at the ad you have for the position you are seeking.

What keywords are used in the ad to describe the skills or qualifications the job candidate should possess? If the ad is somewhat brief, look at other ads for the same job title. You can look at a newspaper or on-line. What words are listed? What skills are stressed? If the employer is listing these items in an ad, you can bet they need to be listed in your resume.

Reflect on how you are able to meet the employer's needs from past experience. When possible, use an anecdote (short story) to illustrate how you accomplished a specific goal or task. Stories are a great way to get the employer's attention. They SHOW rather than TELL the employer how you achieved the success you have thus far. It is much easier to remember a story than it is to remember a fact, so use a few anecdotes whenever possible.

Ordinary vs. Extraordinary

Keywords make the difference between an ordinary resume and a resume that stands out in the employer's eyes. Each time you use a key word, you are showing action and that lets the employer know that you are a person who gets things done. The employer wants to know if you will be able to do the job. Use those action words to reflect your desire to get the job done.

In today's competitive job market, you have to make sure you are doing everything you can to get the employer's attention and hold it. Using keywords is one way of doing that. Every employer is looking for a specific set of skills, abilities, areas of expertise, accomplishments, responsibilities and/or other items such as certifications, licenses and such.

When your resume includes the key words that employers are searching for, whether the search is done manually or with electronic equipment, you will make the right kind of impression on the employer and be at the head of the line for a face to face meeting.

If you want to look at a list of Keywords, click here

If you would like to check your resume against a great resume checklist, click here

To read additional Resume Tips, click here 

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