Best Resume Keywords to Help You Land a Job

To be considered for a job in today's digital world, your resume needs to pass some software first. These “resume readers” (or Applicant Tracking Systems) scan through thousands of resumes online in a matter of seconds. This is where keywords come into play. Listing skills using keywords on your resume is a seemingly straightforward endeavor, but there are some tricks to get it just right.

Here are three quick keyword tips to get you started:

  • Make sure to put keywords from the job description on your resume.
  • Include the skills and value you bring to a company with keywords that help make your resume more valuable.
  • Avoid clichés that can make your resume more general.

What Are Resume Keywords?

Resume keywords are words that can help better define roles and responsibilities while also helping hiring managers find what they're looking for.

Finding relevant keywords for a job application is a simple task. All you have to do is scan through an employer’s listing and figure out what they need, then list it accordingly on your resume. Every job description has a list of skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in that position. Make sure you use those keywords within your resume, especially in the "Experience" and "Skills" sections. This ensures the ATS system recognizes what you have listed.

Tailoring your skills to a job that you are applying for is crucial. Every company has a different set of names and expectations when it comes to hiring someone, and one way you can make sure your application is not just going into the garbage pile is by including keywords.

Applicant Tracking Systems

Like we mentioned before, most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to simplify the process of searching for qualified candidates. These systems scan your resume for keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for. Say, the role requires experience in Java. If you haven't mentioned Java as a skill, your application can automatically get discarded by these machines and never make it into human hands!

Knowing exactly which qualifications will make them say "yes" will help you land interviews easier and faster! For more information on how to optimize your resume for ATS systems, read our blog post here.

10 Action Keywords to Include on Your Resume

You have written your resume, and now it’s time to transform passive sentences into action statements by including some of our favorite resume keywords:

  • Managed
  • Launched
  • Orchestrated
  • Redesigned
  • Supervised
  • Leveraged
  • Negotiated
  • Budgeted
  • Achieved
  • Generated

Using action words to describe what you did in the past will make your resume more specific. The more specific your resume is, the better it will match with a job description.

The company needs certain qualities in a candidate — now it’s your job to prove that you recognize that need and have the qualifications for this role

If you're looking for a job, it's worth considering how keywords can help your resume stand out from the rest. You may not be able to list every single keyword on a resume (unless we find some way to shrink that word count), but start by including a few important ones and you might get lucky and snag yourself an interview. Need more help?  We built The PathMatch Guide to Writing an Effective Resume to give you a step-by-step guide to make sure your resume leads to interviews. 

Want more help to finding that perfect job? Download the Pathmatch app to discover companies that match your interests, strengths, and goals! Pathmatch can help find the perfect career fit for you!