Tips for adding keywords when tailoring your resume

Person adding keywords to resume at Addison Group

It’s no secret that hiring managers scan resumes for keywords that they include in their job descriptions. Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan for those keywords and eliminate resumes that are missing them. By embedding the right keywords in your resume, you’ll demonstrate you match the position’s requirements. The following keyword tips will help increase the likelihood your resume gets seen.

Pick terms used in the job description

Use the job description as your guide. You’ll find keywords included among the qualifications and responsibilities. Select those that align with your knowledge and skills. Add these keywords to current and past positions on your resume.

Keep keywords specific

Your resume is only an overview of all you have accomplished in your career. Even job responsibility terms can fall short of stating all the skills you’ve learned. Be specific and concise so that hiring managers have a clear picture of your capabilities.

  • Example: Rather than “human resource specialist” state “managed employee engagement and retention.”

Make it active!

Avoid using passive voice. Write using an active voice and lead with verbs.

  • Example: ‘Managed a team that increased new portfolio accounts by 20% within six months of promotion.’

Write data-driven descriptions

Make skill and accomplishment descriptions shine by using data or success outcomes. This adds to the active language you’re infusing into your resume. Quantifying your outcomes will help you stand out to recruitment and hiring managers.

Keep it real

Turn to the thesaurus to search for fresh keywords. Choose terms that are in your resume, or that you use regularly during conversations. At the same time, be sure that your resume doesn’t appear intentionally stuffed with keywords.

Write with applicant tracking systems in mind

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ATS are now central to many organizations’ recruitment and hiring processes. Sharpen your AI and ATS knowledge to focus on optimum keywords. Select those that best describe your experience and use a few times in your resume. That, and an error-free resume, assures you won’t be bypassed!

For more than 20 years, Addison Group has matched people with roles that align with their skills and career goals. Visit our jobs page or connect with us today to get started.


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