Remember the days when candidates would print out resumes on fancy paper or use colored font to try and stand out? In those days, a real live person would go through a paper stack of resumes to try and determine the best candidate for the job. Now, things are a little more complex than before and most companies use a form of computer software to sort through the applications they for jobs they have posted online. One of the best ways to stand out in the crowd is to use keywords to ensure that your resume is seen by the software as one that should go forward for review by the company’s hiring manager.
What are Keywords and Why Should You Use Them?
Keywords are the words that denote the most important experience or qualifications the company is looking for in the right applicant. Experts estimate that around eighty percent of all companies use keywords to screen resumes and determine which deserve further consideration. This is done to make the hiring process easier and simpler for them, and to avoid wasting time interviewing receive candidates. Many recruiters and hiring managers receive more applications for an open position than they can possibly hope to go through manually. Using a simple program to screen resumes for keywords takes a lot of guess work out of the process.
Keywords can vary based on the position that the company is hiring from, but they are typically the qualifications, skills or software that the position requires a qualified applicant to have. if your resume is missing these words, the company may assume that you aren’t qualified for the position. For example, the keywords for a job posting for an office manager might be “Quickbooks” or “Excel”. A hiring manager for a truck driver position might use “commercial driver’s license” as a keyword.
How Can You Find The Right Keywords?
Finding the right keywords for a position can require some research on your part. First, look carefully through the job description to see what skills or software programs are mentioned as must haves for the position. Many job postings these days have a paragraph or two of description, followed by a bulleted list of preferred or required skills. This list is a great place to find keywords to include in your resume.
Where Should You Put The Keywords?
The closer to the top of the page your keywords are listed, the less the resume scanning software has to do to find them. for this reason, you may want to include the keywords in a special section at the top of your resume. You can title this section “Relevant Skills” or “Skill Summary”. Do not just list the keywords, but try to work them into a few sentences, such as “I am a skilled dental professional with seven years of experience working with popular billing systems like Dentrix and Moonclerk“.
Using keywords is a simple way to boost your chances of getting an interview. While it may take you some time and research to find the right keywords, the extra effort may just pay off in the form of extra interest in your resume.