What Else You Need to Know About Resume Keywords

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What Else You Need to Know About Resume Keywords

Tie your shoelaces, peel a banana, and brush your teeth (too bad!). These are all things you can do in six or seven seconds. It’s anything but an extensive stretch of time in any way shape or form. According to Indeed, recruiters only spend six to seven seconds looking at your carefully crafted resume.

And that is if your resume lands in the hands of a real person. After all, more and more companies are using automated applicant tracking systems (ATS), also known as talent management systems, to select candidates for job openings.

It is happening on all levels. In 2021, a leaked internal document at Amazon showed that the tech giant has been working to replace some of its recruiters with AI technology to predict which job applicants will succeed.

The technology works in part by finding similarities between the resumes of current, well-performing Amazon employees and those of job seekers applying for similar jobs. Essentially, it is about keywords.

Resume keywords

In 2023, resume keywords are now essential if you want to grab the attention of employers and include terms or short phrases that relate to particular requirements for a job. Typically, these are the skills and qualities that a hiring manager looks for in a candidate.

Sometimes hiring managers just throw out apps that don’t include top-notch keywords, especially for popular roles that have garnered a lot of attention. The closer you are to a match, the better your chances of being selected for an interview.

Here are some ways to use keywords to your advantage.

  • Match job specification
  • make it obvious
  • use them liberally

Match job specification

The first place you should look for keywords is in the job posting. Pay particular attention to any terms listed under “responsibilities” or “duties.” Sometimes it helps to list these words on a separate piece of paper, so you know what to focus on.

Also look at the company’s website. If this business describes itself as “reliable” or “traditional,” take note. This could be the kind of language you should use when describing yourself.

Make it obvious

Essentially, the keywords reveal, at a glance, that you are a good fit for the job – you match the required skill set they are looking for. You’ll want to show that you’re checking all of their boxes. For example, keywords for a developer role could include Java, API, Oracle, etc.

While it’s crucial to add keywords that focus on hard skills, don’t forget about soft skills. Employers are increasingly taking note of key soft skills such as negotiation, communication, and leadership skills.

Stanford Research Institute International found that nearly 75% of an employee’s success comes from soft skills, while only 25% of their success comes from technical skills. You can also make more use of your soft skills in your cover letter.

Use them liberally

Once you know what your keyword list is, take some time to spread it out in your app. You can also include them in both your cover letter and resume.

Also do not forget about synonyms. For example, there are many different ways to say that you are creative. You could say that you are inventive, innovative, original, artistic, etc. Be sure to include featured keyword variations, as you may not be sure which one an employer is searching for.

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