Keywords for Resume Search Engines

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How to use the right keywords for your resume

How to use the right keywords for your resume

When you apply for a job online, there are hundreds of other applicants who are applying for that exact same job.  In fact, estimates that on average 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening. As one can imagine it is difficult to sort out the good resumes from the bad. To help this sorting process, HR professionals use software called Applicant Tracking System (ATS).  ATS will search thousands of resumes to filter applicants with the right skill set.

Keywords for Resume Scanners

To make sure your resume does not get discarded by ATS you need to make sure you have the right keywords on your resume. By this, I don’t mean keywords like works well under pressure, hard worker, or team player. I mean specific keywords related to your industry. To do this successfully, you should search several jobs in your field and find common keywords.  Finally, update your resume with these common keywords to decrease your odds of being filtered out by the ATS.

Suppose I wanted to become a mobile app developer. I searched for a few jobs online and found a few job postings that had these keywords.

Keywords for Job Posting #1Keywords for Job Posting #2Keywords for Job Posting #3
AndroidAndroid/iPhoneiOS Development
Unit TestingPerformance testingHTML/JavaScript
Android SDK DevelopmentSQL ServerCoca
JavaHTMLObjective C
Eclipse CSSSDK

I notice right away mobile app developers need unit testing experience (testing code not the interface). I also see mobile application developers need either Java or Objective C programming.  I am also noticing that common web languages like HTML and CSS are required.

This process is a great exercise, regardless if you don’t have the skills to become an app developer.  If you don’t have these skills, simply make note of them and make these part of you career goals. If you have these skills make sure they are on your resume.

Remember beating the ATS is only one step in the job hiring process but having the right keywords will really help you increase your odds of getting noticed by the hiring manager.

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