Adding Keywords to Your Resume

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Creating your resume is never a never-ending process. In addition to updating work experience and skills, keywords should be another area of concern. Strategic keyword placement, when done correctly can help ensure that your resume makes it through the automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) that most employers are now using. As well as, stand out to the hiring manager if your resume makes it through the ATS to their desk. But, there are a few general rules to follow.

Watch the Placement

While keywords can be beneficial in making sure that your resume is taken seriously, poor placement can also get it thrown in the trash. Individuals who cram keywords together, use unnecessary fluff, or put them at the bottom of the page aren’t going to be getting as many calls as those that strategically use them. Experts recommend that you scatter the right keywords throughout the resume.

However, as screeners scan your resume, they usually start at the top and work their way down. This means that if they don’t see something they like in the top third of the page, the rest of your resume may never be looked at.

Selecting Keywords

Each time you apply for a position is an opportunity to connect, so you should consider modifying your resume for every position that you apply for. This doesn’t mean that you have to create a document from scratch, but you should tailor your resume to the job. Scan through the job posting and write down all of the different words that stick out to you, and then tailor your resume using those keywords.

Keywords to Avoid

While selecting keywords, it can be equally important to make sure not to include some phrases that can be seen as negative by experienced resume reviewers. Phrases like “results-driven” or “goal-oriented” aren’t great descriptors for potential employees. Instead, focus on specific, and measurable instances that convey those points.

Additionally, don’t just use a thesaurus to change words. Personalizing your resume to the position can help your resume stand out from the rest and get you the job you want!

For more job interview advice, check out Post Interview Thank You Note Tips


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