Keywords are IMPORTANT when applying for jobs online

When applying for a job online, the deciding factor that determines whether your resume gets into the hands of an actual person often depends on the proper use of keywords throughout the resume.  I know, it may not sound fair, particularly if you are confident you have the greatest experience and qualifications.

But, it’s the keywords that enable your resume to make it pass the thousands of other resumes and through the computer software programs’ screening process and tell the recruiter to look at it and perhaps pass it on to the hiring manager.

The challenge is to outsmart these robotic searches by making sure your resume includes these keywords liberally throughout it. So, how do you know what the keywords are? And, how do you place them in your resume? An article by gave advise on how to conquer the keyword barrier.

One thing you can do is to look at the posted job description. Analyze it closely and ask yourself “would the recruiter use any of these words as keywords to search for resumes?”  Then, be sure you use/reference these keywords throughout your resume.  This is, of course, dependent on your qualifications actually matching the job description. Assuming you ARE great match, you can then use the
keywords” provided in the posting. They should be used frequently throughout your resume. Use them several times throughout the resume.

Using the right keywords and using them often will put you at the top of the list.  You want to use them early and throughout the resume, in multiple forms, if possible. As an example, if the job description calls for Microsoft Excel proficiency, state your experience multiple times (i.e. have taken Excel classes, have created Excel spreadsheets for tracking reports, have done presentations using Excel spreadsheets before senior executives).

One word of caution is warranted when using “keywords” taken from job postings. Be sure your qualifications honestly match the “keywords” used.  Once you land the job interview, you will then be able to confidently expound upon your experience and how you are a perfect fit for the job.

In the world of resume software screening programs, you have to learn how to play the game. Only then will you optimize your chances of avoiding the black hole, a place where many otherwise great resumes end up, without ever being seen by human eyes.

From The Key Corporate Services Blog Team