Using the correct industry keywords will help get your resume noticed. When a company has 100 or more resumes submitted for a single job position within a few days of posting an ad, the chances are they’re not going to plow through all of them laboriously.
Modern technology allows the digital filtering of all the candidates’ resumes by screening for specified industry-related keywords the company or interviewer uses to screen applicants.
If your resume contains these specific industry keywords, you will get past the applicant tracking systems and make it to the human eye. It sounds harsh, but unfortunately, this is the process that many large companies use.
Use the Job Ad
Let’s discuss how to include relevant keywords to get your resume noticed. One of the best places to identify the keywords to feature on your resume is the job advertisement. Pay close attention to the job description and make a note of the main criteria.
Check out similar job descriptions or industry postings, or use Google’s keyword tool to find the correct terminology. If the company has a website, spend some time reviewing the content and jotting down what’s relevant. Pay attention to their goals and company philosophy—if the website includes their mission statement, read it carefully and note key points.
How to Use Industry Keywords
The biggest mistake you can make is copying and pasting chunks of text from job postings or descriptions directly into your resume. Show how your employment skills relate to those detailed in the job description, but be careful not to use the ad verbatim’s language.
Not only will this hint at a distinct lack of imagination, but it will leave the prospective employer wondering whether you know what you say you do. The trick is to weave the industry-specific keywords into your resume in a natural way. (View our resume samples)
If you end up with a list of 50 words after doing your initial research to identify keywords, don’t be tempted to try and shoe-horn them all in. This strategy can easily backfire, and it’s unlikely to impress the company hiring committee.
When writing your resume, be selective about the words you include—your resume should read naturally while incorporating the essential group of keywords.
Use descriptive keywords when describing your past work experiences and accomplishments. Start your phrases in the past tense (be sure to maintain consistency), listing them in a bulleted format. Using action words will make your statements come alive.
Examples of descriptive words include:
- decreased (costs, liabilities, etc.)
Showcase your competence in a particular field by using keywords that highlight your competencies and expertise. Example industry keywords include:
- marketing campaigns
- personnel supervision
- program management
- sales targets
- technology skills
Think about your critical skills in your profession—these will often be the keywords you need to highlight.
Need additional help? Reach out to Candace for assistance!