Writing a perfect resume has caused many debates over the years and there are many different lines of thinking when it comes to what you should and shouldn’t include in your resume. However, one thing is for certain; listing keywords can help you to land a job interview.
What are keywords and how to find them?
Keywords are particular words or phrases that are common in the field that you are applying for, just like the skills that you use at work. General skills will look good on a resume but to make it great, you should consider using the same terms used in the job posting. You should also tailor each and every resume with right keywords. Keywords are not just used by ATS (applicant tracking software), the keywords on your resume are also there to draw the hiring manager’s attention.
You need to be using terms that are used in the field in which you are applying to in order to show the reader that you are the right candidate for the job. For example, if you are applying for a job in a science lab, show that you know your stuff by using words particular to that industry, this is a great opportunity to use keywords and show off your skills.
Read the job description
This is simple yet something that is still missed by many, you need to read the job description so you know exactly what the reader is looking for. Take out a marker and highlight keywords that you come across so you can then use them in your resume. Keep on highlighting all the way through the posting including the Duties and Required Experience sections.
Think about your current job description
If you are struggling to find keywords, think about your current position and your daily tasks. If needed pull out your current job description and write down your current tasks and pick the ones that are relevant to the job that you are applying for. You may be surprised by how many skills you can write down and then use in your resume and cover letter.
More ways to discover keywords:
• Visit the website of the professional association in your field and look for buzzwords
• Visit the company website and research company culture and values
• Recruiters, headhunters and human resource professionals can offer great keyword tips
• Search job descriptions online
Use keyword wisely
Don’t go overboard with the keywords as you want to impress and not look like you are trying to cram in as many industry-specific words in your resume as possible, it still needs to look natural. You need to remember that listing many industry-specific words might get you pass ATS (applicant tracking system) but it’s not going to get you pass a real person. Tell a story with your resume, don’t just list the keywords and phrases as skills and duties but rather give examples of real-life situations where you used those skills. Think of scenarios in your current job where you used the skills that they are looking for.
Here is an example, lets say that Microsoft Word is one of the keywords, you could say “Designed Microsoft Word resume templates” or better yet turn it in to an accomplishment by saying “Designed Microsoft Word resume templates that became Lime Resumes best selling resume designs”. Keep the keywords and jargon in mind when writing your work experience bullet points. Most of all demonstrate that you can use these skills to benefit the company if they were to hire you.
ATS-friendly resume templates
At Lime Resumes we offer ATS-friendly resume templates. We recommend having 2 resume templates: ATS-friendly resume template for applying online and one with Modern Design to email as PDF or to print out and take with you to the interview and to hand out to all the interviewers.