The right usage of resume keywords will result in your resume leading you to the job you are applying for. Many people wrongly assume that using keywords means using technical jargon or using bombastic words to impress the person who screens your resumes. Nothing is farther from the truth.
Using keywords only means that you should use words which reflect that you are qualified for the job.
For instance, if an IT company wants an accountant then ‘IT accounting’ becomes the resume keyword. If you are applying for the job you need to mention this important word along with all the other keywords mentioned in the job advertisement such as ‘salary accounting’, ‘knowledge of US GAAP’ etc. You will also have to mention the number of years of experience. You may have a lot of experience in the accounting field as a whole but the person screening resumes will shortlist you mainly based on the keywords.
Advantages of using keywords in your resume:
- The recruiter can screen resumes faster when they contain keywords.
- If there are many jobs advertised for different kinds of skills, classifying the resumes on the basis of the resume keyword becomes easy.
- The applicant will not miss an interview call just because his skills did not catch the attention of the person screening resumes.
There is a mistake which many people commit while preparing resumes. They mention all the possible keywords relevant as well as irrelevant in the hope of landing a job.
An IT programmer in Java may mention C++, HTML and many other keywords – skills in which he has no experience at all, just in the hope that he will clear the initial screening. This will not benefit him in any way. The recruiter is looking for C++ skills and a detailed look at his resume will show only Java projects. So his resume won’t even pass initial screening. Even if he does manage to fudge his resume with false projects and manages to be called for an interview, the interviewer will see through him in no time.
Some people think that ‘resume keywords’ means using impressive words like ‘pioneer’, ‘instrumental’ and so on. These are only resume buzzwords and it may only make you sound pompous. It is best to use simple words. Your knowledge of English words is not being tested here.
One of the reasons people cram their resume with keywords is that many companies use computer scanners for initial screening. People do not want to miss out on the job just because they missed the words the computer was looking for. Yes, do write whatever you think the computer is looking for but be honest and don’t be repetitive.