You have to love keywords. OK, you don’t have to LOVE them but you do have to know how to use them, because if you have the right keywords, employers will find you on LinkedIn, and their algorithms will find you when you submit a resume. If you are not using the right keywords, no one is going to find you. And that’s not good.
So, how do you know which keywords to use on your resume? Which ones will get you noticed, and which ones will be the kiss of death?
Keywords That FIT
If you have been reading my blogs, then you know that FIT is all-important. You have to make your resume FIT the position you are applying for, and that means you need to have the right keywords. But which keywords are the right ones? How do you find them?
A lot of the time, you can find the right keywords simply by reading the job description. Just read the job description carefully, look at the words that jump out at you, and use them in your resume. You can also use tools like www.salary.com to read up on general job descriptions, and find keywords that will work. Use those keywords throughout your resume so that they can be identified not just by algorithms but by actual humans who may be looking at your resume.
Where Should You Use Keywords?
As I have just stated, use keywords throughout your resume. But be sure to go heavy in the top third. Usually, you are going to start off your resume by stating a position at the top, and then using a personal branding statement; so you want to be sure to use your keywords in both. Then, you will continue with a career snapshot, which will also be keyword-heavy. Then, use them as appropriate in the rest of your resume.
Can You Get by Without Keywords?
No, you cannot. Keywords can make you or break you. Identifying the right keywords may take a bit of work, but it is absolutely essential. Chances are, the first reading of your resume will be done by a computer, not by an actual human being. And if you want to get to the human at the next level, you need to be very sure that you can get past the computer algorithm.
More Keyword Help
Right now, does your resume contain keywords that represent you as the best candidate for the job? Have you even considered keywords at all? If you are confused about resume keywords (and many people are), consider signing up for my e-learning course, What’s Wrong With My Resume? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself and How You Can Fix It.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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Using the Right Keywords in Your Resume