By Phil Baker,
Making decisions about what words to choose on your resume can quickly lead to frustration. There are words for job titles, objectives, education, accomplishments, and headings. There are also power words, action words, industry specific words and resume keywords. Many resumes are eliminated simply due to the lack of keywords. In addition there is a list of negative words that should never be on your resume.
Resume keywords are the terms the employer has used in the job posting and for specific words for your field, profession, or industry. These words attest to skills, qualities, talents, knowledge, and abilities the employer seeks in a job candidate. Employers have software that searches for many of the keywords for the skills they are seeking. Because many employers receive a large response to job openings this speeds up the selection process. While many employers use these programs to scan resumes to locate these words, simply scattering them about on your resume can hurt you. While you might be selected as desirable by the scanning program, if your statements do not read well to the employer, you can be eliminated. You must use resume keywords correctly and in strategic narrative locations.
Choosing resume keywords entails first reviewing a job posting or description and choosing the words the employers has used for the qualifications being sought in candidates. You can classify resume keywords by relevance and possession. Relevance is divided into two categories. Those words for the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are required are the first category and the second group contains the ones that are desired, often referred to as helpful or beneficial. Possession is also divided into two categories, the skills you possess and those you do not possess.
You need to include all the resume keywords for the required skills for the job. Incorporate the most relevant skills at the top of your resume in the objective, a summary of skills section, and or under your work experience. If you have many past employers or jobs include the most recent position if you have been there more than a few months and then add the jobs that are most relevant to the position you are seeking. This will make using the desired keywords the easiest. If you have a job that was not relevant but you were there a year or longer, you ought to list the position to avoid employment gaps on a chronological resume. However limit the information about the work experience with that employer.
There is a tactic for the knowledge, skills, or abilities required for the position that you do not have that can get you through the employer scanning program. You can include those resume keywords for the skills you do not possess and pass the employer scanning. Do not state that you have the skills but you can use them in statements about your future goals in the objective or in a planned education statement under the education heading on your resume. When your resume loads in front a person he or she can then decide whether or not to grant you an interview based on your qualifications. If you have enough of the qualifications they are seeking you might just get in.
Many resume keywords are job specific phrases. You should know your profession and the vocabulary that describes your skills. While your certification, training, education, or experience might be slightly different terms, match the terminology used by the employer whenever possible. As long as the description is not different than what you have learned or can do, this is acceptable. However, do not alter the names of equipment or software for instance, that you know to be dramatically different, in attempt to score points.
Use power words in your accomplishment statements to enhance and optimize your resume keywords. The right vocabulary can make your qualifications and talents vibrant and come alive. For example stating you are “good with numbers” does not make a lasting impression. By instead stating “excellent mathematical prowess,” the perception of your ability is much more accomplished to the reader. When the right power words or adjectives are used, there’s no reason to pile them on. Too many great, wonderful, fantastic, terrific, stupendous, incredible and wonderful adjectives (you get the idea) can give the appearance of boasting and diminish the impact. The right placement and balance of terms shows your strengths and not your ego.
There are words you should not use on your resume and other types of resume keywords that can give your resume the edge. Copyright 2011 by Phil Baker
Hyoâ€™s Note â€“ Not only is Phil the creator of the OneClick Cover Letter Creator SoftwareÂ ProgramÂ (a ridiculous easy to use, yet effective software that creates cover letters tailored to your needs) which you can visit here, or you can read my review of it here, but he also has a tremendous website, www.ResumeDictionary.com.Â Resume DictionaryÂ might just be the best, free resume resource site out there – jammed with great information and tips on getting your resume water tight and rocking.Â
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