When you’re wanting to apply for a new job, the first thing that pops into your head probably isn’t what keywords you should use in your resume to get noticed. And that’s normal! But when it comes to customizing your resume before you apply to a job, focusing on keywords can be the reason you get a job!
This action is looked over often, but with so many Application Tracking Systems (ATS) being used to screen resumes before they land on a hiring managers desk, it’s important you take the time to ensure you explain your skills in a way that will get you on their desks. And well, hopefully, hired.
When you think about it, keywords are normally the skills and experience companies are looking for you to have. So, finding the right keywords is not as complicated as it may sound. If you focus on mirroring the job description, you will get past the ATS in a breeze. In the job description, there will be great words that you can pull from to help fill your resume.
All of these are specific keywords that an ATS will be looking for before your resume gets passed on to the next level. So, make sure you do your due diligence and see what skills and experience they are really wanting and put them into your resume.
What Keywords are relevant
Depending on the position you’re applying for keywords will vary. But like mentioned above, mirroring the job description will be one sure way to ensure your resume gets seen. You want to use words that explain your experience and include the skills they are looking for. If they need you to have multiple certifications, make sure to include them as well.
The one thing you always need to do though is spelling out acronyms. Because even though an ATS is smart, not spelling out everything could filter out your resume, even if you have the necessary skills. And therefore, knowing the right keywords to put into your resume is essential.
What Keywords you should not use
There are also, of course, keywords you should avoid. When you think about revising your resume, you obviously want to make it the best it can be! Sometimes though, we forget how certain things may seem like a good idea to write down, but in turn, are not. Stay away from negative words and overly used phrases. Avoid lying.
If you aren’t an expert in something, don’t say you are. In this tight market, employers aren’t looking for someone who is an expert in all the skills they would like a candidate to have. They are looking for someone who is trainable, a good fit, and honest about what they can and cannot do. And finally, avoid overcomplicating things with big keywords that you think will make you seem smarter and better for the role.
If you’re applying for a role, it’s most likely because you’re interested in it. Overall, keyword “stuffing” will only hurt your chances of landing the job. Keywords are an important part of applying for new and exciting positions but there is a method to the madness! And hopefully, you have a better understanding of their importance and how to use them properly.