Hiring managers, recruiters, and business owners conduct numerous searches on career sites each day. The words they use to search for possible candidates are known as keywords. If your resume doesn’t include these keywords, it can’t be found very easily.

The bad news is that there are as many, if not more keywords as there are job openings. You can find many different keyword lists online with possible words that are highly searched for, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those particular keywords will match the position for which you are seeking. Just like performing a search on an internet search engine, no one person, or hiring manager, searches for the exact same phase each time.

So, what can you do to increase the chances of getting your resume found? Here are a few suggestions to help you find the right keywords to include in your resume.

Put Yourself in the Hiring Manager’s Shoes

When trying to decide what keywords will provoke the best response, think as if you are the one doing the hiring. What would you search for if you wanted to hire someone for the opening you are applying for?

Here’s another idea. If you know anyone who works in a hiring or human resources department or someone who owns their own business, ask them what they look for when searching for potential employees. Professional resume writers can also offer a good deal of insight into how employers think.

Pay Attention to the Ad

This is probably the best way to determine what keywords will get you noticed.

Look at the advertisement for the position you are applying for. Chances are the person doing the hiring is the one who wrote the ad and you will find the most important keywords right in the ad. Does the ad list specific qualifications, software knowledge, or experience that is required? If so, add those words to your resume where appropriate. Don’t forget about ads for similar positions, even if you are not applying for them. Those ads may highlight other important keywords that might be missing from other ads.

Resume Banks

If you add your resume to resume banks or employer databases with hopes of landing the perfect job, you must include certain keywords to get your resume in front of hiring managers.

No matter how qualified you are, if your resume doesn’t pop up in their search list, the hiring company may not even know you exist, let alone that you are interested in a position with their company. Do your research and make sure you have as many of the appropriate keywords included in your resume as possible for each job you apply for.


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