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Key-Word Your Resume Using These Simple Techniques

18 March 2010 Written by: Mary Elizabeth Bradford One Comment
Key-Word Your Resume Using These Simple Techniques

Are you wondering if your resume best positions you to land the job of your dreams in a parallel market, new industry or higher level position? One area you want to make sure to check is your key-words.

Resume key-words are simply the words used to describe your hard and soft skills. Many companies today use key-word scanning software to organize and qualify applicant matches with available positions. Even if a company doesn’t use key-word scanning software, it’s still extremely important to mirror the key-words listed in a position as much as possible.

You can quickly and easily make certain that your resume attracts the right attention using the following simple steps:

Step One: Identify Your Favorite Jobs

First, through you favorite job aggregator or niche job board, identify at least two positions that you would qualify as your dream job.

Next, print them out and highlight all of the key-words and phrases that best describe both what you love to do the most and any other strengths and attributes that match your skills. Highlight even those strengths that match functionally, even if the position is in another industry.

Now make sure these key-words are woven throughout your resume, putting special emphasis on the top part of your first page.

Step Two: Use Your Two To Three Best Key-words

You don’t necessarily have to redesign your resume for each job you wish to submit your resume to. In fact, if you are finding this to be necessary for you, you may wish to check your focus.

Many professionally-designed resumes will have approximately three key-words in a bigger, bold font right up at the top of their resume. I call these headline key-words. This is a powerful way to immediately target your resume for each particular job you submit your resume to. You can view several examples here.

Let’s say you are submitting for a job that stresses operations, global expansions and teambuilding. If these are all matching skills for you then you want to mirror these in your headline key-words. With this method you can very simply shift a few main key-words and get maximum attention from your target audience!

Step Three: Consider a Key-word Only Section

In my resumes I always like to include a keyword-only section. I call it core competencies or skills and abilities. A good list should include three rows of 4 to 5 bullet points per row. In the first row include your strongest competencies, in the middle perhaps soft skills that would include leadership and management abilities and your third row can include technical aptitudes, language skills and/or secondary skills such as leading training programs or creating marketing collateral.

Using these valuable tips gives you a simple easy way to make sure your resume is targeted for the positions you really want!


Mary Elizabeth Bradford is a frequent contributor and author of the Career Jockey recommended "Secrets of the Unadvertised Job Market...Revealed." Would you like to learn how to quickly and easily get more interviews, shorten your job search and increase your salary? Check out my website www.maryelizabethbradford.com for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar “5 Simple Steps To Find, Focus On and WIN Your Dream Job – Starting Today!” Job-Search Coach, Internationally Certified Master Career Director and Internationally Certified Advanced Resume Writer Mary Elizabeth Bradford is “The Career Artisan.”

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by CareerJockey: Key-Word Your Resume Using These Simple Techniques http://ow.ly/1nLZM

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