You should use a different paper. You must apply different fonts, margins or spacing. You might want to vary the order of the sections. Do you want to include a photo or not? You could even have to rephrase your master document every time you apply for a job.
The ever-growing list of to-dos regarding the creation of just a single resume could go on until eternity and beyond. And to top it all, job seekers must also pay attention to keywords.
If you haven’t heard about these yet then it’s indeed time to meet them, because they can be the key factor (pun not intended) in getting your resume through the first obstacle – and ultimately land you that dream job.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords (or trigger words – we’ll discuss more about these later) are usually nouns covering critical job qualifications in job descriptions. They can be everything from degrees, skills sets and industry buzzwords to jargon, terms, area codes and more, and they will always appear in job descriptions no matter where you’re searching for jobs.
In that regard, they are essential in weeding out those applicants that are sending their resumes in randomly from those who are genuinely interested in the position. In fact, some companies use a so-called ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) that can look for these trigger words and point out resumes containing them, allowing recruiters to select applicants for an interview from an already preselected list.
How to Correctly Use Keywords
As you see, keywords are more important than anything else when submitting your resume for a job application. However, you cannot simply insert these words as a separate section into your CV – it is considered unprofessional and would definitely kick you out of the running for the position. Instead you should present keywords in context, for example in the summary section or when you are describing your accomplishments. This way you can not only introduce yourself in a more professional manner, but you can also beat ATS’s while making a good impression on the recruiters themselves even before meeting face to face. Furthermore, you can use trigger words throughout the entire CV: it will increase your chances of getting invited to an interview, especially if you use industry favorite words.
’But how can I determine industry specific words?’ you may ask. It’s really simple and is easy to find, too: just look in the job descriptions. You may have noticed a certain pattern in job descriptions, especially if you are searching in the same field: they more or less use the same trigger words. In this regard, while you are looking for a job, you will also have to do some ’fishing’. Read the descriptions thoroughly, and take notes of the words you consider special or important. And voila, you already have a list of special words that you can use as many times as you want for your resumes.
Better yet, you can always use the special features of online resume builders: most of them are capable of displaying keywords – or even create complete, pre-written phrases for that matter – which you can insert into any section you want.
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