Keywords — What are they? Why do I need them?

By One2One Resumes

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In days gone by we never spoke about keywords in a job search. With technological advances though, the way resumes are received, stored and searched has changed.

Many recruiters and large organisations are now using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage resumes. When you send a resume it is scanned into the ATS, and when an employer/recruiter wants to view resumes they do a search. Searches are done on keywords, which are determined by the position itself.

Without the right keywords in your resume, you run the risk of not being detected in these systems.

In many cases you will already know the keywords – words that are common to your industry and position. They can also be thought of as the buzzwords for your industry. For example, an Accounts Officer would commonly include keywords such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliations, etc.

Keywords can include, but are not limited to:

  • Job titles
  • Industry-specific tools and equipment
  • Education
  • Qualifications
  • Software and hardware programs
  • Job techniques.

The best source of keywords is the job advertisement itself. Whatever words the employer has used to describe the criteria are the words you want to include in your resume.

Others ways to source keywords is from the job description. Do a search of positions in your field, look at a variety of adverts and the keywords they are using.

A couple of tips:

  • Use variations of the keyword. For example if your degree is listed as Bachelor Science Degree and the job advertisement has listed it as BSc, you want to make sure you have written it that way too at least once in your resume. This ensures whichever way it is keyed into the search parameters, you will be found.
  • Skills section in your resume is a great area to concentrate your keywords, but make sure they are used in context. Column upon column of random words will do little to enhance your resume.

Keywords are an important component of today’s resumes. Make sure you understand and include them in your resume in order to be found.

Competition for jobs is already high: don’t make it more difficult because of a lack of keywords!


© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant

One2One Resumes ABN 84 356 535 910/002


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