Make Keywords Count in Your Resume

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“Generic hyperbole belongs in cereal boxes, not on resumes.” – Duncan Mathison, career consultant, co-author of “Unlock the Hidden Job Market”

Did you know that keywords add a “wow” factor to your resume? These words are important in describing your competences, skills, and expertise. Since most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS), it would be an advantage to use industry-relevant keywords that highlight your qualifications.

Overused Resume Keywords

Apparently, choosing the right keywords is not easy. It is daunting to find the perfect word that will describe how good you are. However, Resume Writer Karen Siwak explains that advanced ATS gives higher ranking to resumes that use career-accomplishment keywords.

When it comes to resume writing, keywords are your best friend. Believe it or not, it makes job searches more effective. Since hiring managers would only spend 7-10 seconds on your resume, it is important to catch their attention at first glance. But how would you know if you’re using the right keywords? Read on.

Apparently, the best way to get hired is to understand what the company is looking for. Use the job post to your advantage and be familiarized with the industry. According to Executive Career Coach Jay Block, applicants should be familiar with industry jargons to have a wide-range of word choices.

Though it is suggested to use industry-specific keywords, there are phrases that should always be included in your resume such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Resource optimization
  • Business development
  • Image and reputation management

Unlike biographies, resume should entail more than your life story. In fact, hiring managers would highly regard your resume if it reflects your value as an employee. They want to know how your skills can contribute to business success. If you want to impress the hiring manager, use keywords that demonstrate your values and work ethics. Examples of which are as follows:

  • Aggressive
  • Ambitious
  • Competent
  • Creative
  • Goal-oriented
  • Independent
  • Self-motivated
  • Resourceful
What Not To Use

Now that you’ve learned the importance of keywords, use it to your advantage. Choose the right terms and phrases and avoid littering your resume with irrelevant verbs and/or nouns. To help you select the right words to use, Resume Professional Writers reviews overused and predictable keywords that you should avoid. Below are some of them:

  • Strong
  • Excellent
  • Driven
  • Outstanding
  • Seasoned
  • Energetic
  • Good
  • Effective
  • Team-player
  • Expert

Instead of using these terms, make it more compelling by saying…

  • Possess strong communication, customer service, and organizational skills
  • Consistently surpass sales goal by X percent each year
  • Exceeded department productivity by increasing employee output, corporate objective and introduction of compensation plans to high-performing individuals
  • Successfully interacted with clients to generate repeat business

If you want to know more about resume writing services, you may visit

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