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How to Find Keywords for Your Resume

Posted by Goodwill Talentbridge on Sep 6, 2023 10:31:47 AM

Today's hiring managers use analytics, algorithms and applicant tracking systems as data-based gatekeepers. This technology is great for helping hiring managers scan, sort and search for the right candidate. However, it can make your job search harder if your resume is missing the keywords the resume keyword scanner is looking for.

What are keywords for a resume?

Keywords are words or phrases that help determine if your resume is a good match for a job. In the hiring process, that can mean words describing the skills, qualifications and certifications that the ideal candidate possesses. If these words or phrases are not included in your resume during a scan, the applicant tracking system is likely to reject your application.

Why are keywords important?

Updating your resume to include keywords can help you stand out from the crowd of other job-seekers. When used effectively, they can indicate to hiring managers that the skills, qualifications and experience that you possess match the requirements to perform the job. Keywords can also demonstrate that your values are in line with the mission, vision, and goals of the employer. Including these keywords in your resume can be the difference between earning an interview or not.

When it comes to finding keywords to use in your resume, one of the best places to start is with the job posting itself. Take a close look at the qualifications and job responsibilities sections. Those sections are often filled with keywords that are important to hiring managers. Qualifications and responsibilities keywords are typically the specific abilities or attributes that employers consider essential for success in the role. For example, if the job posting mentions knowledge of a certain software program or a specific certification, edit your resume to include these keywords if you can.

In addition to the job posting, look at postings for similar jobs to gather more keywords. This can give you ideas about the skills and qualifications that are commonly sought after in your desired field. By incorporating these keywords into your resume, you can increase your chances of catching the attention of hiring managers and showcasing your suitability for the role.

Remember, however, that it is important to use keywords strategically and not simply include them for the sake of it. Your resume should be tailored to highlight your unique qualifications and experiences. The resume keywords to use should be accurate for your work experience. Use the keywords you find to enhance your resume and demonstrate your fit for the position, but make sure to do so in a way that flows naturally and effectively communicates your value as a candidate.

Look for words and phrases following verbs, such as:

  • Coordinates shipping
  • Manages inventory
  • Programs mills and lathes
  • Maintains safe operations
  • Communicates effectively

Finally, you might also want to review the About section of the company’s website to pick up on organizational jargon that can demonstrate how well you’ll fit in with its culture. Words like “customer-centric” and “innovative” can hint at organizational values.

How do I use keywords in my resume?

Now that you’ve identified keywords for the transferable skills, hard skills and soft skills that the hiring managers is looking for, it’s time to incorporate the ones that align with your background or experience into your resume. Don’t copy the keyword phrases exactly. Instead, try to make your resume better by integrating the keywords that accurately describe your skills and accomplishments into the content of your current resume.

What if I need help?

If you want to learn more about incorporating keywords into your resume, the Goodwill Workforce Connection Centers can be an excellent resource. Workforce Connection Center services are free, thanks to funding provided by revenue generated through Goodwill’s social enterprise business, including TalentBridge. TalentBridge profits are reinvested in Goodwill’s training and development programs, making working with TalentBridge a win for you and for your community.

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