How to optimize your totally awesome resume using key words & why?#1

Oct 25, 2023 | Resume Tips, building a resume, career, felon, interview, jobs, re-entry, resume advice | 0 comments

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Table of Contents

One of the best ways to optimize your resume is using key words. What are key words? It is any word that indicates key skills that the employer is looking for. For example, a RN would want to use words such as Patient Care, Time Management, Leadership, Critical Thinking, HIPPA, Hygiene, Empathy, Patient and Family Education, Ethics and Observation.

How do you find Key Words?

Why is this important? When employers are looking on Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Snag A Job or one of the many other websites, they are doing so by entering key words, not by laboriously looking over hundreds of resumes. Many employers use an (ATS) Applicant Tracking System, these software programs specifically find key words that the employer is looking for.

Optimizing your resume with keywords is crucial because many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes and filter out candidates who match specific criteria. Here are some steps to optimize your resume using keywords:

  1. Understand the Job Posting: Carefully read the job posting to identify the key qualifications, skills, and requirements that the employer is seeking. Pay attention to words or phrases that are repeated.

  2. Identify Relevant Keywords: Create a list of keywords and phrases that match the job description. These may include technical skills, job-specific terms, certifications, and soft skills. Use a mix of both general and specific keywords.
  3. Incorporate Keywords Strategically:
    • Use in Job Titles: If the job title you’re applying for is mentioned in the posting, use it as your job title (if it aligns with your experience). For example, if the job posting is for a “Marketing Coordinator,” and you have similar experience, use that as your title.

    • In the Summary/Profile: Include a summary or profile section at the top of your resume that includes some of the most important keywords relevant to the position.

    • In the Skills Section: Create a skills section and list technical and soft skills that match the job description.

    • In Job Descriptions: Use keywords naturally in your work experience descriptions. Describe how you used these skills to achieve results in previous roles.
  4. Showcase Achievements: Rather than just listing skills or responsibilities, demonstrate how you used those skills to achieve measurable results. Quantify your achievements with specific numbers or percentages, which can also be considered as keywords.Resume Writing Services
  5. Use Synonyms: Sometimes, different job postings may use synonyms or variations of the same keyword. Include these variations to maximize the chances of matching ATS searches.
  6. Tailor Your Resume for Each Job: Customize your resume for each job application. While some keywords will remain consistent, you may need to adjust the emphasis on certain skills and experiences based on the specific job posting.
  7. Be Honest and Accurate: Don’t include keywords that are not relevant to your skills and experience just to get past the ATS. It’s essential that the information you provide is truthful.
  8. Proofread and Format: Ensure your resume is well-formatted and free of errors. ATS also consider document formatting, so use a clean and consistent layout.
  9. Avoid Keyword Stuffing: While keywords are important, avoid stuffing your resume with them. Your resume should read naturally and provide a clear, compelling narrative of your qualifications.

  10. Save in the Right Format: If the employer specifies a preferred format (e.g., PDF, Word), use that. Otherwise, consider a PDF format to ensure your resume appears the same way to all employers.

  11. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile: If you have a LinkedIn profile, ensure that it mirrors your resume and contains the same keywords. Employers may cross-reference your resume with your online presence.

  12. Seek Feedback: Have someone review your resume to ensure it’s clear, compelling, and keyword-optimized.

By carefully incorporating keywords and tailoring your resume to each job application, you can increase your chances of passing through ATS and impressing potential employers. Remember that while ATS optimization is important, the content and overall quality of your resume are equally crucial.