A resume is a formal document that serves to show a person’s career background and skills. A traditional resume consists of a professional summary, work history, and education sections. It works like your job hunt marketing document. The purpose of a resume is to introduce yourself to employers, present your qualifications, and secure an interview. The goal of writing a resume is to showcase your experience, education, and skills in a standardized format which is easy for recruiters to read.
In most cases, job seekers confuse a resume to a curriculum vitae (CV), however, these are two different things though they serve similar purposes. A CV is a very in-depth document that describes your career journey step-by-step, including all sorts of personal information. You can look at the CV as a comprehensive description of everything you have ever done, all the achievements you are proud of, and all the publications that bear your name.
What are some keywords for a resume?
A resume is a short, straight-to-the-point, document created for the purpose of applying to a specific job. Unlike the CV, you should try to keep a resume as short as possible. In 99% of the cases, you would want to keep your resume to a maximum of one page. If you have over fifteen years of experience, or really believe that the extra information you can mention can add value to your application, you can make it two pages tops but make sure you properly fit in your resume keywords and phrases.
What are buzzwords or keywords in a resume?
Are you a self-starter? A ninja? Are you dynamic and detail-oriented, with a good sense of humour and an ability to multitask? The jargon can begin to melt into meaninglessness. These phrases are repeated so frequently because it's hard to encapsulate a job, company, and desired qualities of an employee in a short space. But do not dismiss buzzy keywords just because of overuse, the words and phrases in job ads can provide much insight into the role, culture, expectations, and company.
Studies show that recruiters and HR folks spend as little as seven seconds reviewing resumes before they move them to the yes pile or toss them in the trash. To make it to yes, you need to choose resume buzzwords that count. The best buzzwords describe your abilities, match them to the job qualifications, and show that you are a better fit for the position than the other candidates.
How do you write keywords in a resume?
Keywords are a short phrase or individual words on a resume that tie in to a particular job posting. They can include credentials, skills, qualities and abilities of a candidate. They could include technical expertise or other requirements hiring managers are looking for in a role they’re trying to fill.
Keywords and phrases are important because the majority of companies pre-scan applications electronically with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which screen specifically for resume key words list and phrases related to the job. ATS software is sophisticated and can be programmed to:
- Search for resumes with keywords related to job requirements
- Count and rank resumes in order of keyword frequency
- Place a higher value on more important keywords
- Uncover keyword spamming
- Rank a resume higher for using a keyword in a sentence with additional related skills
Since this technology is advanced, it is important to use keywords and phrases intelligently and strategically. Even in the case of a manual scan, recruiters will spend just seconds looking over a resume to identify the desired nouns and action verbs.
Example one: You are applying for a position as a Content Writer but your previous job title was Content Creator. The hiring manager will likely search Content Writer in hopes of finding someone with direct experience. It is the same job, so change Creator to Writer on your resume to increase your searchability.
Example two: Let’s say you are an architect applying for a senior position in a large firm. This is your resume summary:
A detail-oriented and qualified senior architect who excels in developing construction drawings, creating 3D models, and conducting architectural research and analysis
The system reads these keywords in your resume summary: Detail-oriented, Qualified, Senior Architect, Construction Drawings, 3D Models, Research and Analysis.
Why should you use keywords on your resume?
- Using keywords helps you to get to beat the competition. Modern applicant tracking systems use keywords to sort and organize resumes and cover letters. This is designed to save the hiring manager some time, so make sure your resume doesn't get lost in the shuffle simply because you didn't use the right keywords.
- It helps you hone in on what's most important. Some job seekers submit resumes that are multiple pages long and the truly important information gets buried beneath other achievements that are completely irrelevant (such as how many high school basketball championships you won when you're applying for an accountant position). Making a list of keywords upfront can help you to whittle down your long list of experiences to just the ones that the hiring manager will actually care about.
- Properly used keywords show that you are speaking the same language as the hiring manager. Hiring managers use certain keywords in the job posting or description, and it is important to show that you are on the same page by using similar terminology to convey your specific skill sets, qualifications and experience.