Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Unlock Your Dream Job: The Power of Resume Keywords

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If you are like most people, you’ve spent countless hours working on perfecting your resume and building your network. We all know that your resume is the most important document in your job search and your network is one of your most valuable job search tools.  The good news is that you are not alone in your focus and beliefs. The bad news is that your resume and network are only half of a successful job search.

As I’m sure you are well aware, the Internet has enabled job hunters to easily flood the market with their resumes. Now imagine that you are a hiring manager or recruiter, sorting through tens of thousands of resumes and trying to find a handful of qualified applicants. How can they sift through the mountain of resumes to find the perfect candidate?


Of course, you know the answer to the question above, the answer is keywords. But how much time do you spend focusing on the keywords in your resume to ensure that it includes the syntax that recruiters use for building keyword resume queries? I’d venture to guess not much, at least not in the same terms as the tools used by recruiters. So while most of us spend countless hours picking “action words” that are an integral part of any successful resume, most of us do not spend the time to understand the keyword search process that recruiters use.

Step into the role of a recruiter and gain insight into their candidate search process. Understand the techniques they use to identify potential hires and learn how you can position yourself to not just get noticed but to make a lasting impression.

The Importance of Keywords on Your Resume

  • Beat the Bots: Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter resumes. Including relevant keywords helps your resume pass through these systems and reach human eyes.
  • Match the Job Description: Tailoring your resume with keywords from the job posting ensures a closer match to the position requirements, significantly improving your chances of being noticed.
  • Showcase Your Skills: Keywords related to your skills and experience highlight your qualifications and make it easier for employers to see how you align with the job’s needs.
  • Industry Relevance: Using industry-specific keywords demonstrates your familiarity with the field’s language, showing you’re a knowledgeable and suitable candidate.
  • Enhance Readability: Strategically placed keywords improve the readability of your resume for hiring managers, making it easy for them to identify your strengths and fit for the role.
  • Competitive Edge: In a pool of many applicants, the right keywords can give you a competitive edge by highlighting your unique qualifications and experiences relevant to the position.
  • Professional Branding: Keywords help in shaping your professional brand, making it clear who you are, what you can do, and the value you bring to a potential employer.
  • Networking Power: When your resume is shared within professional networks, having the right keywords can make it more discoverable to potential employers or referrals.
  • Future-Proof Your Resume: Including keywords for both your current skills and emerging trends in your industry can show your commitment to growth and adaptability.
  • Optimize for Online Profiles: The keywords on your resume should match those on your LinkedIn or other professional profiles, ensuring consistency across your online presence for potential employers.


LinkedIn has evolved into a crucial platform for job seekers and recruiters alike. Interestingly, there’s a specific LinkedIn tool designed for recruiters, enabling them to refine their search by focusing on headlines that contain keywords relevant to their industry and skill set. If you’re on the hunt for a new job, make it a habit to update your LinkedIn profile weekly.

Even minor adjustments can significantly boost your visibility, placing your profile among the top searches. Additionally, examining the profiles of professionals in your industry can serve as a valuable resource, offering insights and inspiration for how to effectively present your skills and experiences.

Are keywords not working?

Everyone’s resume should feature keywords, yet some individuals remarkably succeed in securing interview calls while others struggle to receive any. The key lies in understanding the “rule” of keywords. To enhance your success rate, scrutinize job descriptions for positions that align with your qualifications. Identify the recurring keywords within these postings.

Do these keywords appear on your resume? To increase your chances of being noticed, make sure your resume and cover letters incorporate the keywords commonly found in job descriptions relevant to your dream job. This strategic alignment can significantly improve your visibility to potential employers.

Take a look at some trade publications for your industry. Pay attention to the titles of articles and the keywords used in the content. Are these words included in your resume and cover letters? Look at the industry-related words used in job opportunities for your industry.  If you use these words in your resume, your profile will come up more often in searches.

Unlock the secret to landing your dream job with the right resume keywords! 🗝️ Dive into our latest guide to find out how tweaking your resume with strategic keywords can make you stand out to recruiters and beat the ATS. Perfect your resume! #CareerGoalsClick To Tweet

To List or Not to List

There are many ways to include keywords on your resume. You can have a “skills” section and list your keywords there. You should also include your keywords in your experience section. Describing your work experience with keywords is the best way to get noticed.


ZipRecruiter is a great resource. You can leverage their blog for tips on job search as well as their fantastic job search resource. You can search for jobs, check out salaries, and keep track of job applications.  Their tool (similar to other job search sites) allows search customization for open jobs.

Leverage Your Recruiter

Your recruiter can (and should) provide help and advice with your resume.  You shouldn’t expect them to write it for you, but you can ask them for their advice on keywords and the overall structure of your resume. More than anyone else, they know what works and what doesn’t work (and they know which resumes get the interviews).

Other Resources

  1. 2500 Keywords to Get You Hired
    $25.00 $11.98

    The most comprehensive reference of its kind, this powerful resume-writing resource gives readers instant access to 2,500 indispensable keywords germane to 300 careers in nine employment categories­

    Buy on Buy on

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    05/22/2024 07:11 pm GMT
  2. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society

    Keywords focuses on the sociology of language, demonstrating how the keywords we use to understand our society take on new meanings and how these changes reflect the political bent and values of society.

    View on View on

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    05/22/2024 07:15 pm GMT
  3. Best KeyWords for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews

    Here's the first book to identify hundreds of keywords job seekers should incorporate at critical stages in their job search.

    View on View on

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    05/22/2024 07:15 pm GMT
  4. Resume Keywords Decoded & Demystified

    Learn how to find and select resume keywords for your specific area of expertise with targeted tips and techniques. Master the “what-to-do” and “how-to-do-it” for your resume keyword needs. With step-by-step examples and an Internet browser, anyone can identify and collect their own resume keywords.

    View on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    05/22/2024 07:21 pm GMT
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