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How to Use Keywords in Your Resume to Improve Your Online Job Search

by Kimberly Ben

Including keywords in your resume is a job search strategy you can’t afford to ignore. Keywords are words or phrases used to help job seekers find jobs and employers find the right candidate to fill available positions. Put them into a search engine the same way you would normally search for information on the Internet. Certain industry buzzwords will often yield better search results. For instance, you’ll find better opportunities searching online for “retail project management” than you will if you use the term “retail” alone.

Finding the right keywords
If you have no idea about what keywords should be included in your resume, start by doing some simple research. Go online and find two to three ads for jobs in the industry you’re targeting. Read through each of the listings and study the ads carefully. Pay close attention to any repeated words or phrases. They are the keywords you need to know.

Adding keywords to your resume
Keywords are an important part of creating a competitive resume, but the strategy of the document and impact of the words used to highlight your strengths and experience are most important. Write a resume that positions you as the best possible choice for the job you’re targeting first.

Once you have a strong career document in place, add the keywords throughout the content. Make sure that the document still flows and sounds natural when you read it out loud. Include keywords:

  • In the objective or summary
  • In your key accomplishments
  • In your listing of hard skills or core competencies

Geographical keywords that show employers where you’re located, or where you’ve lived and worked before, should also be included whenever possible.

How employers use keywords to find job candidates
Employers are constantly sourcing the web for job candidates. They utilize a technology that makes it easy for them to zero in on the best job seekers who post resumes on private company websites, networking sites like LinkedIn or career-based websites like CareerBuilder and Monster. Keywords are important because if an employer is looking for someone with a specific skill, he will use a keyword, for example: “Data Architect,” Online Marketing Coordinator.”

It’s also a good idea for job seekers to periodically update a resume that’s been uploaded into a database. Some databases provide an option for employers that allow them to only select the most recently uploaded resumes for viewing. Making sure to seed your resume with targeted keywords, and regularly updating the career document you upload into a database can give you an edge in this market.

About the Author:
A professional resume writer can create an employer-focused career document designed to get you noticed. Find out how professional resume writing services can give you an edge against the competition in your job search.
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