If you’re applying for a position at a larger firm, your resume will be amongst hundreds — or thousands — that recruiters receive and if you don’t use the right keywords, you’ll risk a very good chance of never even crossing the recruiters’ radars.
Companies are using a keyword-searchable database that scans resumes for words related to certain job vacancies. To figure out what keywords are vital to your position, Katharine Hansen at Quintessential Careers says you should be “scrutinizing job postings to see what keywords are repeatedly mentioned in association with a given job title.”
Barbara Safani of CareerSolvers suggests using LinkedIn’s skills section to find the keywords that would most likely be used in a company’s search query database. To do this, click on the “More” tab in your LinkedIn profile and enter a type of skill or description into the search box. This will result in a list of related skills to pop up, which you can use as keywords on your resume.
In the example below, entering the word “product management” produced keywords such as “product leadership” and “feature prioritization.”
Although action verbs are important, Hansen says most of the keywords in the hiring database will be nouns. For example, if you listed that you ”conducted cross-functional management for initial and follow-up contact” in a job description, the keyword here is “cross-functional management.”
For a better chance of getting your resume through the screening process, Hansen suggests to shoot for 25 to 35 keywords.