Why Keywords Are Key When Applying Online For Jobs

By Martin Buckland - Executive Career Management Professional

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Did you know a robot is making the majority of initial hiring decisions? Welcome to the new age of online resume submission where keyword-based software applications – known as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS for short) - are used to scan resumes. This technology advancement has transformed the process of resume writing, forcing the strategic and mandatory incorporation of keywords into the resume.

The main task of ATS software is to conduct a computer search using the keywords and key phrases someone at the company has selected as the mandatory skills required for a candidate to successfully perform the job. The ATS application then scans all online resume submissions and accepts only those matching the keyword search criteria.

In short, keywords facilitate your resume to be electronically retrieved in resume databases and ranked for alignment to job postings.

Finding keywords isn’t as daunting as it may initially appear. There are numerous resources to uncover potential keywords including: the job description or posting; industry associations; the National Occupation Code (NOC); Google AdWords; KeywordEye; KeywordSpy; SEM Rush; Wordstream Keyword Tool; colleagues; company websites and company pages on LinkedIn.

If you’re looking for a single resource, I invite you to visit my website and download my free An Elite Guide To Resume Keywords providing 48 keywords for each of 22 job sectors (available at: http://aneliteresume.com/).

Review the keywords in your resume and match them to EACH job you apply to, ensuring you incorporate the corporate language used by the potential employer thereby increasing the chances your resume will successfully pass the initial robot assessment process.

TIP: This isn’t about simply doing a massive keyword “dump” in your resume; only include keywords that you can support with accomplishment statements both in the resume and during an in-person interview.

The more specialized your position, the greater the impact of keywords in aligning your job search to the candidate selection process to attract attention when electronically scanned and by the human eye, bringing attention to your marketable skills and benefits the company could realize by selecting you as their next employee.

Understanding why keywords are key when applying online for jobs helps give you the competitive edge and advance your candidacy in the hiring process.

About the Author:

Martin Buckland is a multi-credentialed Career Management Professional. His industry certifications include: Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Job Search Trainer, Certified International Job & Career Transition Coach, and Certified Social Media Career Strategist.

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