KEYWORDS! KEYWORDS! KEYWORDS!...Your key to getting an interview and potentially a job.
One of the key tools at your disposal for getting an interview is keywords. Keywords can make the difference between the Yes and No pile of resume heaven/hell. What are keywords; why are they so important and where do I find them? Imagine you have to review 1000 resumes that just hit your desk in the morning and make a decision by day’s end of who to bring in for an interview and who to place in the circular file. Continue to imagine that reviewing 1000 resumes that day is only one of the many hundreds of tasks you have to accomplish by day’s end. What if someone came to you and said “I can help you whittle that pile of 1000 resumes into a pile of 50 in 10 seconds? Would you jump at the opportunity?
What can whittle a pile of 1000 resumes into 50 in 10 seconds? You got it…keywords. When you submit your resume on-line for a job application, along with 10,000 other applicants, your resume is first computer scanned for keywords. The computer sends those resumes with the right keywords into the “yes interview” pile and those without go to????? A human eventually enters the equation. The human reviews the 50 resumes and whittles those down to 10 by looking for??? By this point if you have not answered keywords, please take a rest and come back later and read this article. However, if you said keywords, you are on your way to being a "yes" in a job world of "no’s."
Keywords are those words that let the computer/human know that you have what it takes to do the job. A hiring manager looking to hire a Human Resources Manager will look for (as well as the computer which did the search in the first place) keywords such as “recruiting”, “hiring”, “training”, “compensation and benefits”, among others to determine if the applicant is someone she wants to bring in for an interview. Why? Because Human Resources Managers need to know how to “recruit”, “hire”, “train” and “administer compensation and benefits”. If you have these keywords on your resume you get to go to the head of the class.
If I have convinced you of the importance of keywords, you might be asking yourself right about now, “Where do I find keywords?" Keywords are found in job postings. Once you know where to find them you might be asking “What does a keyword look like in a job posting”? Not much. As a matter of fact keywords get their life in comparison to other job postings. Continuing on the Human Resources Manager example, visit several job boards like Monster (http://www.monster.com), CareerBuilder (http://www.careerbuilder.com) and Indeed (http://www.indeed.com), search for Human Resources Manager jobs and print out as many Human Resources Manager’s job postings as you can. Lay (or is it “lie”) the job postings side by side and compare. Which words are common to a majority of the job postings you just printed? Those are your keywords. Use these keywords in your resume, cover letter, elevator pitch and interview and guess what? You just got yourself a job. Congratulations. Now start working!