Keywords and Skills to Insert in Your Resume

by | Jan 16, 2024 | Resume Tips

Your resume is the gateway to a company’s recruiter and/or hiring manager. Unfortunately, you may have to go through the applicant tracking system and its computer scan of your resume first.  Regardless of the process, there are some keywords and skills that virtually any reviewer (human or not) is looking for when reading your resume.

A system reviewer of your resume will be seeking validation that you have keywords or needed skill sets mentioned on your document.  A human reviewer will typically spend no more than seconds looking at your resume for words that will create enough interest in it that they will read further.  So, it is imperative that you craft your resume in a way that will cause it to be positively flagged for more consideration. It is only after you get past this initial review hurdle that all the rest of the time and effort you spend on your resume becomes relevant.

The key to inserting the most relevant keywords and skills is to give the job advertisement a thorough review.  You want to pull the clues given in the posting and align them with the relevant items that you actually possess.  You may be wondering what are some of the most commonly needed keywords and skills?  Let’s review what you are most likely to need on your resume.

• If you are seeking a supervisory position, then you will want to make sure words such as “led” or “supervised” are included on your resume.  When a deeper review occurs, then the reader will want to know how many people you supervised and your style of leadership. Preliminarily though, it will be critical that they know that you have been a supervisor.

• Most positions require a person to be able to successfully work with others during the performance of their job.  Therefore, it is critical that a reader can immediately get a sense that you will be a good co-worker.  So, keywords such as “teamwork” or “collaboration” should be included in your resume.

• In today’s work world, a person rarely has the luxury of everything going as planned and outlined when they started the day.  Therefore, it is important to add terms such as “problem solver”, “created”, and/or “developed” to your resume.  This will show that you have the ability to dig into why something unexpected is happening and react quickly to solve the issue.  Later in the interview, you can elaborate on how you handled this pressure well and functioned without the immediate watchful eye of your manager.

• The ability to squeeze the most productivity possible out of your day is critical in today’s busy work environment.  Having key words that highlight your effectiveness, such as “time management”, “efficient”, and “organized” should rightfully attract the reader.  During the interview (if asked), you can go into detail regarding how you manage your day and properly prioritize.

• There are not many positions that lack a direct connection between success and the financials of the organization.  There are numerous keywords or phrases that could be used to express this sentiment, such as “saved”, “reduced”, “revenue” and “budgeted”.  All of these show that you have a focus on profitability from both growing the business and also reducing expenses.

• The above have focused primarily on the “soft skills” that recruiters are generally looking for in a resume. You will also want to be sure to include the needed technical terms that align with what is needed in the role.  This is particularly important in professions where the area of expertise seems to have its own language, such as in Information Technology or Finance.  It is important to correctly outline the software programs you are skilled in, especially the ones that are listed in the job posting.

• Similar to the addition of the needed technical skills is the inclusion of the degree and/or certifications that are expressed in the posting.  While the education section may be a given, on some occasions job seekers will edit out certifications that they possess.  This should not happen if they apply directly to the position you are seeking.  Especially if a computer program is scanning your resume, an initial review of your qualifications may focus on required degrees and certifications.

There is considerable strategy and art that goes into writing a good resume.  As much as details and examples will assist you with the reviewer, you first have to attract them enough to give your resume a deeper read.  You can do this by making sure to include the keywords and skills that align with what appears to be needed from the job posting.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein

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