Keywords are an essential piece to a well-written resume. Why? Because they are the words that describe what you do. They also let the reader know immediately whether or not you are a potential candidate for them.
Keywords are “buzz” words or industry specific jargon that communicates a message about your qualifications, accomplishments, credentials or responsibilities. They are action-driven and demonstrate your value to the company.
Each keyword has a message attached to it. For example: Operations Leadership message is– process performance improvements, operational compliance, cost reductions, safety implementation, etc. They help tell the story in conjunction with action verbs (created, developed, launched, delivered…) to pack more of a punch and keep the reader interested.
With companies receiving thousands of resumes per job opening, they have come to rely on keyword-searchable databases to weed out candidates that don’t fit the position and save the candidates that do. These machines are programmed with certain keywords and receive “hits” for resumes that match the data. Keywords are also being used on job boards and professional networks like LinkedIn. Hiring managers can go to LinkedIn and type in “Pharmaceutical Sales Representative” and if you have those words in your resume, you become a match.
Keywords can be used throughout the resume. You can add them to your career summary at the top, or in your job description, and within your accomplishments to bring out your strengths. Here is an example of keywords within a career summary. I added bold so you could tell which ones they are:
“Dynamic executive leadership career of diverse organizations with a rich mix of finance, operations, internal/external processes, sales and business development. Intimate knowledge of financial processes, accounting practices, operating results and profitability. Expert in executing team-driven process improvements to increase revenue growth, operational efficiency, and overall profitability.”
See how keywords are peppered all through there? This resume will be able to stand up against company keyword machines.
Take a close look at your resume and make sure it is keyword-saturated. If you need help with keywords, go to Amazon and buy a book of keywords. Definitely worth the money.