Career Calling

March 15, 2013

Finding Key Words

Clients frequently express concern about having their resumes scanned by applicant tracking software.  They worry about having the right key words that will let their resumes filter to a human reader. My advice is to base your resume (and interview presentations) on market research.  Build a market profile by collecting 5-10 job posts for positions you would apply to.  As you review all of the posts, the key words will be the ones you see repeated from post to post or repeated within a single posting.  Find ways to repeat key words in your resume without making it sound clumsy or artificial.  One way I do this is to list 6-9 key words as part of the profile at the top of each resume. If a specific job posting emphasizes different words, you can adapt your resume for that application.

While it’s important to have key words on your resume, remember that you still need to demonstrate your ability to perform duties.  I also recommend that every resume highlight achievements and success stories.  All of these elements are needed to create a resume that will make prospective employers call you to schedule interviews.


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