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Use Keywords in Your Resumé

When potential employers post a job, they’re already short-staffed. They don’t have time to wade through piles of resumés to figure out who to hire.

Often they’ll glance through resumés, looking for keywords that match what they need. Or they’ll run the resumés through a program to search for keywords. Here’s how you can use keywords to find the job you want.

What are keywords?

Keywords are descriptive words and phrases that show employers you:

  • read their job posting
  • studied a certain subject
  • earned a certain credential (for example, a diploma)
  • are familiar with a particular industry or sector
  • know how to use specific kinds of tools (for example, a software program or tower crane)
  • have certain types of skills (for example, project management or materials handling)

Why would you use keywords?

Employers and recruiters often use resumé bots to find the right person for the job. When you use the right keywords, your resumé will pass the keyword screening.

You’ll also make it easier for employers to find your online resumé when they search job websites by keyword.

What keywords should you use?

  • Use the words and phrases that appear in the job ad or posting.
  • Look for keywords in the job description or the position profile (if available) on the employer’s website. Browse the website for other keywords.
  • Visit other websites in your industry or sector to find common keywords.
  • Research the keywords used in other ads for similar positions.
  • Talk to people in the industry or at the workplace and ask them about standard qualifications.
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