What are keywords, you ask? Good question. Keywords are the words that:
a) define common qualities of the role you are applying for, and
b) are prominent ‘words’ within the relevant industry you work in or are applying to.
For example, when we did a search for an Administration Officer role, the reoccurring words that were present in most job advertisements were, detail orientated, communication skills, organisation & coordination skills, phone manner and presentation & approachability.
So, why are keywords important? Keywords are important because they communicates to recruiters that you’ve got the goods. If you can speak the lingo of your trade, this helps to build your credibility. Conversely, neglecting to insert keywords into your resume may lead to you getting screened out of the process, whether you are a qualified candidate or not.
Something we have also mentioned many times before is Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and how more and more companies are using these systems to screen resumes. Even if a company doesn’t have the technological benefits of an ATS, a simple Word or PDF document search can uncover keywords, or a lack thereof.
Of course, there are many different attributes for any give role and not all companies will be seeking the same attributes. So, how do you know which keywords to focus on?
Research. One of the easiest ways to get a head start on ‘keywording’ your resume is to review the job advertisement and job description. Highlight the key duties, skills and core requirements. Highlight words of value that you see repeated, because chances are they are important!
Another tool you can use are websites like the ones listed below. These websites are basic keyword scanning sites that highlight prominent words in blocks of text. Copy and paste sections of the job description or the job advertisement into the online form in these websites to get a list of ‘keywords.’ Ta-da! Okay…it’s not a magic solution to your dream job. However, it can definitely get you back on track to have your resume placed in the ‘Yes’ pile.
- Research the job advertisement and description for keywords. Highlight the prominent words, the key skills, attributes etc.
- Check your resume for the prominent key words
- Compare them to the key words in the job description and advertisement.
- Use ‘Keyword’ websites to get a comparison
- Refresh your resume to include the key words that are relevant to your experience.