Using Keywords on your Resume to Land a Job
Last updated August 21, 2023
Don’t let your resume sit in a pile with other applicants! Many companies, especially larger corporations, use AI technology to filter the resumes they receive for job postings based on keywords in their job description. In fact, resumes are looked at for an average of seven seconds before making an initial decision! The closer the wording of your resume matches the keywords they’re looking for in their job description, the better chance your resume will have to stand out. If that sounds a little confusing, don’t worry. Let’s break it down.
What's a Job Keyword? Where do I find them?
When we say “keywords” we are referring to the words that the employers use in their job posting or job description. Most job postings have a “Qualifications and Skills Required” section. This is your keyword goldmine! In resume writing, you’re taught to use “action verbs” to describe your work experience and what you accomplished in different jobs or experiences. Job descriptions do the same thing!
If the job posting wants “strong communications skills”? Say no more, it’s going in your resume (as long as it’s true!). If they want “Microsoft Office proficiency” or “strong oral and written communication skills”? You better believe you’re putting those keywords on your resume if they apply to you! When you match your language to the job description, it is easier for employers to see you picking up on their language! This also means, that is so important to personalize your resume and cover letter based on the job your are applying to each time.
Which job keywords should I use?
The keywords you’ll want to include in your resume are determined largely by the skills required to do the job (or jobs) you’re applying for.
For example, let’s say you’re applying for a cashier position.
Cashiers need to be:
- good with customers,
- able to handle complaints and resolve conflict, and
- skilled at basic calculations like addition, subtraction, division, and dealing with percentages!
So, some keywords might be “Customer Service”, “Positive attitude”, and “Complaint resolution”.
To address the math component – “Skilled at math”, or “Skilled at register transactions”, or “Able to quickly calculate percentages, addition, subtraction, and long-division” all might be potential keywords worth including.
The best preparation you can do for any job application is to get feedback from a trusted source before you apply! You can submit your resume to us for feedback and we’ll get you feedback in a week! You can also text #Jobs to 33-55-77 (click here if you’re using a mobile device!) so our job advisors can help you nail the job application process.