Friday, July 09, 2010

Resume Keywords - The What, Why, and How

We were asked to post the following link on our blog that gives 10 resume tips. Here is the link.

Below are our comments on the use of Keywords, Tip # 1.

We agree.  Use key words.  But what are keywords and how do they help? How do you use them effectively in your resume? Just throwing out words that have no relation to your skills is not helpful. Where do you find the right keywords? The first place to look is on the job posting itself. Then look on the internet for industry-specific key words. Ask people in the industry what skills, experience, and qualities their companies seek.

Keywords can be verbs that suggest certain qualities employers seek such as leadership & team building, problem-solving, and achievements or results. A few examples are:

Leadership & Team Building

led | developed | directed motivated | empowered | revitalized | conducted | spearheaded | presided over


streamlined | strengthened | re-designed  | solved | eliminated | analyzed | evaluated | resolved

Achievements & Results

achieved | turned around | accomplished | produced | expanded  | completed | increased | succeeded | enhanced | created | developed | devised | delivered (on time and within budget)

There are also industry-specific keyword that you also should place in your resume in strategic places. Here are a few examples for business-related resume of experienced job seekers whose experience would call for them to list core competencies in a separate section and/or throughout the resume:

Change Management | Investor, Board, or Trustee Relations | Strategic Planning | Project Management |
Infrastructure Development | P&L Management | Regulatory Compliance | Sales & Marketing Leadership

The Boston College Career Site contains practical information about keywords:

Look for future postings commenting on some of the other nine resume suggestions.  Contact Randi Lewis, Founder of Resume Boutique LLC with more questions about how to use Keywords effectively.

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