Know which resume key words to include and which to stay away from on your resume. When you use resume action words, the result will be a powerful, effective resume that lands you the interview you seek.
The importance of using keywords on your resume cannot be overemphasized. There are certain words that work well to convey your unique talents and experience.
But there are also others that will detract from your message. You HAVE to get this right if you hope to use your resume to gain entrée to the job of your dreams.
There are 2 kinds of words we refer to when we use the term resume keywords:
Many companies or recruitment firms today use resume scanning software. This software generally identifies and sorts resumes by looking at certain "keywords" in the document.
This ranking system helps them to decide who is a good match for the advertised position and who isn't.
Using the right resume key words can get you the interview!
But how do you know which keywords are right for the position you're interested in?
Here are a few tips...
One way is to look closely at the job ad or posting. See which words are used. If you can, look at a number of other ads for that company and see if there are certain words that keep popping up.
Go to the company website and identify some of their key values. A good place to look is their mission statement. The annual report is another great source of key values.
Scan trade journals to identify key trends in your industry. Then, select resume key words from that list.
Try to use any keywords you select at least 3 times, in both your resume and cover letter.
Use the most important keywords within the first line or two of each job description section of your resume.
I want to leave you with a word of caution about using these so-called industry "buzzwords" though... If you use them to describe yourself or your experience, then you have to be able to back them up with actual examples. Use the words because they are meaningful, not because they are impressive!
Besides the sprinkling of various job-related key words throughout your resume, it's also crucial that you make use of action verbs in all of your descriptions.
Action words need to be specific and provide a clear, concise picture of your accomplishments, skills, and experience.
Here are some that you can consider. You may find others in some of the sample resumes you'll find throughout this site.
Here are nouns you can use too:
And a few adjectives and adverbs:
There are also some words that can detract from the overall effectiveness of your resume. For one thing, you don't want to use confusing jargon or vague phrases. Clichés are out too.
Unless you're trying to convey your ability to function as an integral part of a team, words like assisted, contributed, and supported are not going to be very effective.
These words basically say you helped, but not how. If you must use these words, follow them with a more complete description of your role.
Successfully is another meaningless resume key word. Rather than using it, give concrete examples of your accomplishments that prove your success at your past jobs.
The phrase, responsible for, takes up unnecessary space on your resume and should be avoided. Besides, your resume is the place to list your accomplishments, not your job duties or responsibilities.
You also need to avoid "flowery" speech and words. By trying too hard to sound intelligent or "in the know," you may convince your reader of just the opposite—or even worse, confuse them.
The key is to say what you mean, plainly and simply, using powerful action words. Stick to these resume key word rules and you can't go wrong!