Have you ever wondered about keywords or keyword phrases on resumes or social media like LinkedIn? In short, they’re words or groups of words. And they make it easier for a recruiter or employer to find you. But how do you use them? And what else do you need to know?
In this day of automation, you need to include keywords or keyword phrases on resumes to be found. If not, an automated resume screener won’t select your resume as a potential match. No matter how wonderful or talented you are. It’s that simple.
And human resume screeners also have those words in mind when searching through (often just a quick glance) dozens and dozens of resumes, trying to find ones that match what they’ve been asked to find. Since many screeners are not programmers (or whatever specialty you have), you have to make it easy for them to find you.
So what do keyword phrases in resumes get you?
Your resume still needs to be more than a bunch of keywords since it gets seen by human eyes down the road. Resumes hyper-loaded with keywords can look bogus, so be careful that it’s all legit and helps build a picture of you and your strengths. Keyword phrases on resumes that don’t fit as part of a whole package (you) won’t get you through that second human screening.
To make it through at least the first gauntlet, figure out which keywords or phrases will best serve you. And make sure you add them with all instances of strong, related accomplishments. Again, let the job description guide you. Often the person who wrote that provides the systems people with the keywords and phrases. And for social media, check descriptions of jobs you’d love for helpful keyword clues.
If you want to suggest changes to this or any other definition in our career dictionary, feel free to add your suggestions in a comment.
[Article updated in 2020]
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