Resumé SEO: Keywords Matterby Sima Dahl
Many companies now use applicant tracking software (ATS) to screen resumes. This helps them weed through hundred of resumes electronically, saving a select few for further reading. Your goal is to have your resume be among those finalists, and incorporating select keywords is the best way to accomplish this.
Keywords are often “hard” skills that are required for a position. Some examples are: M.B.A., Quickbooks, cold-calling, and healthcare (industry). These are all very specific qualifications that cannot be embellished. Someone either has them or they do not. On the other hand, “soft” skills are not usually used to screen. These can include attributes such as organized, productive, team player.
The tricky thing with keywords is that no one ever knows exactly what they will be. The person doing the screening (often the HR representative) chooses various keywords that they feel best fit the position. Still, there are things that you can do to increase your odds:
- Review the job posting for clues. Often, this is the best place to find keywords
- Do a Google search for keywords and your industry (e.g. “marketing analyst keywords”)
- Include abbreviations AND spelled-out words. For a degree, this can be: bachelor of science (bs)
This week, find an open position online that you would like to apply to. Highlight possible keywords (that apply to you, of course), and add them to your resume.