How to Find the Right Resume Keywords for your Resume 3 Ways that take just 3 Minutes

Resume Keywords
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“If your resume doesn’t include the proper keywords, the ATS will toss it out.”

“You could add keywords in white font to trick the ATS into thinking your resume could be the best.” Or “Stuffing your resume with keywords helps allow you to get after dark ATS.”

Do these “tricks” sound familiar? You’ve probably heard them before, and you might have even believed them at one point. But believe it or not, they’re all myths. Not just are these “ATS ( Applicant Tracking System ) tricks” bogus but following them can in fact hurt your resume as opposed to help it. Yes, it’s good to possess keywords on your own resume , however not in how you might think. 

Resume keywords aren’t there to “satisfy” some type of computer program – they’re actually there so recruiters can qualify your resume and find the info they require (preferably within 10 seconds).

When recruiters open your resume , they generally spend only 10-30 seconds scanning it. Meaning they don’t read your resume word for word; they only seek out the proper keywords.

What Are Resume Keywords?

The very best resume keywords have two qualities: they’re job-specific and industry-specific. Recruiters scan resumes for these words to ascertain when you have the skills and qualifications they’re trying to find within their potential employees.

Let’s take the exemplory case of a sales role. Some job-specific and industry-specific resume keywords examples might be: “Salesforce,” “CRM,” “outbound sales,” etc.  They are considered hard skills or technical skills – i.e., abilities that want specific knowledge or experience – and ought to be included on your own resume when relevant.

Should You Include Soft Skills on Your Resume?

Soft skills are far more global skills and aren’t specific to a certain industry or job. 

This isn’t to state that soft skills aren’t as important as hard skills. In reality, most employers say they value soft skills a lot.

The issue is that anyone may add these soft skills to a resume (and a lot of people do). This does nothing to incorporate value to your resume because you’re not showing your soft skills by listing them on your own resume.

It’s definitely better to show your soft skills in the task interview itself, as opposed to including them in your resume. This is exactly why soft skills shouldn’t engage in your resume keyword list by any means.

Why Do I Have to Add Keywords to My Resume?

Throughout the last 10 years, there’s been this persistent myth floating around that adding keywords to your resume is essential to “work through an ATS&rdquo ;.

In simple terms, an ATS is really a software program employed by companies to filter through hundreds (or even thousands) of resumes quickly.

The very best metaphor for how an ATS works is such as for instance a big filing cabinet. The filing cabinet doesn’t make decisions about your resume , it really stores the resumes and lets the recruiter sort them (by keywords).

Adding keywords to your resume is more very important to humans than it’s for ATS software. You can find two reasoned explanations why this really is true.

The initial reason is that recruiters (especially those that work in larger organizations) often don’t read resumes line-by-line and instead try to find specific words. With the addition of keywords, we’re ensuring that the recruiter will have a way to obtain the information they require quickly and easily.

The next reasons why adding keywords to your resume matters is that numerous recruiters conduct keyword searches inside their ATS to filter the resumes they receive. This enables them to concentrate their attention on only those resumes which contain the skills or qualifications they’re after. 

This implies that should you don’t include the proper keywords, your resume might not appear within their search results.

Let’s look at a resume keyword example: Imagine you’re applying for work as a Social Media Manager. In cases like this, you must ensure that a number of the keywords in your resume include “social media”, “content creation”, “TikTok”, “influencer marketing” and more.  The more relevant keywords you include in your resume , the higher chance you’ve of appearing at the the top of recruitment team’s list.

Just how to Find Keywords to Used in Your Resume

With all that at heart, here’s how to find out which keywords to use within a resume for the specific job. You can find 3 main methods you certainly can do this:

  1. Find Resume Keywords with LinkedIn’s Automated Tool

Here’s what direction to go: Head to your LinkedIn profile and go through the “More” button, accompanied by “Build a resume” and “Create from profile.”

You’ll then be prompted to include your target job title. When you do, LinkedIn will generate a resume from your own profile. 

In the event that you go through the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see LinkedIn’s automatic “Keyword Check” for that target role. You’ll see 2 sections here:

  • Within your resume (with green checkmarks): This section shows all of the job-related keywords that you curently have in your profile.
  • Suggested keywords: That is a listing of additional keywords that LinkedIn recommends that you enhance your resume which can be common to both your desired job title and past experience.

If you’re on the free version of LinkedIn, you’ll only see between 5-10 suggested keywords. But when you have LinkedIn Premium, you will see between 15-25 keywords with respect to the role and just how many keywords you curently have that match the job.

When you have this list, examine the keywords and decide those you wish to enhance your resume. Be sure to choose keywords that suit your skills, not only any keyword that LinkedIn suggests.

Pro Tip: It’s advisable to incorporate these keywords to your LinkedIn profile as well, especially when you can list as much as 50 skills on your own profile. Other areas to incorporate these keywords are your Headline, About section, and Work Experience section. For more information on the best way to add these keywords, have a look at this free resume course .

2. Find Resume Keywords Utilizing a Resume Builder

Another way to locate keywords for the resume is to utilize the task descriptions of one’s target job and plug them in to a resume builder.

Here’s what direction to go:

Begin by trying to find job postings linked to the role that you’re after. 

Copy and paste each job description in to a Google Doc or Word Doc.

Next, register for a free of charge resume builder. Here are 3 resume builders I suggest, but many resume builders works for this.

Each resume builder will ask one to plug in your desired job description such that it may make ideas for you. That is where you’ll plug in your job descriptions you’d saved earlier.

Once you plug in your job description, the resume builder will create a listing of keywords so it thinks are applicable to the role. Simply select each skill you’d like to incorporate and voila, you’ve your set of keywords.

  1. Find Resume Keywords on LinkedIn Profiles

The ultimate way to locate your resume keywords is by manually searching for those who come in the positioning that you wish to be in. That is especially great for roles which can be a tad bit more unique but may also be prepared for any role.

Here’s what direction to go:

Begin by searching for those who already hold the positioning you wish to apply for.  Then, scroll down seriously to the Skills section of the profile to have a listing of keywords that anyone has contained in their profile. 

Be sure to look at multiple profiles, as different people may have slightly different skills and keywords associated making use of their roles.

Takeaways and Next Steps

Understand that finding your resume keywords is just the very first step. The next thing would be to integrate those keywords through your resume.

Yes, you are able to list these keywords in your “Skills” section, but it’s also wise to be integrating them into your bullet points as well. For more guidance on the best way to try this, I suggest scanning this guide on how to create great resume bullet points .

Bogdan Zlatkov could be the Founder of GrowthHackYourCareer.com and has taught 1000s of smart job seekers how exactly to optimize their resumes, reach “All-Star” status making use of their LinkedIn profiles, and how exactly to ace their interviews to land their next job faster. Prior to starting GHYC, Bogdan was a Content Manager at LinkedIn Learning and the writer of, “The Ultimate Guide to Job Hunting,” ranked #1 on Google. To accelerate the next job search, visit GrowthHackYourCareer.com 

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