Key Words to Use in a Resume

Knowing what key words to use in a resume is one of the keys to successful job hunting. Right key words in resumes are critical as only the resumes with right keywords are picked up for the interviews. It does not matter what the experience is, what the achievements are or even how well the resume is written. It is the keywords that ensure find ability of the resume and is the most important factor today in any resume as compared to other factors like experience, achievements, skills, etc. Of course, this is only in the context of finding a job, but once shortlisted for an interview, the “other factors” become more important.

What is the exact reason for this high importance of keywords? Today most of the resumes are digitized and the searched in keyword-searchable databases which can be a company’s own database or third party database. Third party databases include Job sites, Social Media sites, etc.

And finding right keywords is not easy as there is no fixed set of keywords which fit all resumes. There are a few standard words which add impact, but the key words the employers use to find candidates depend on the job profile, the industry, the company, etc.

Though it is impossible to know what keywords the employers may be searching for, there are some tools which help us make educated guesses about the keywords.

There are 2 types of keywords which are important

The industry, company and job specific key words for scanning resumes (Resume Keywords) Action words which add impact and creates an effective resume (Action Keywords) Tips for finding and using right “Resume Key words”:

The job post would use certain words which can well be the Resume Keywords. If the same words are repeated in many other job postings for the same company, then those keywords need to be part of one’s resume. Any company related document also may help identify key words. Company website, especially the content in “About” page, the “Mission Statement” page can be good sources. If you get a copy of the company’s annual report, it can be a good source too. The keywords you identify in the above sources should be used in one’s job description section and in career summary section. Tips for using “Action Key words”:

Action Keywords add clarity and effectiveness of what is being described Some examples of good Action Keywords are – Oversaw, Mentored, Mastered, Inspired, Augmented, Accomplished, etc. Some words which reduce the impact and those which should be avoided in one’s resume are – assisted, contributed, supported, etc. Please check Job Search Cover Letter for writing amazing and winning cover letters


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