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Key Words to Include in a Resume

Why identify key words

Key words identify you with the skills, knowledge, and competencies required in an area of interest. They are used by recruiters and managers when doing key word searches and in resume review.

Once you've determined your focus and direction, you need to think like the readers of your resume.

  • Who are the readers?
  • What are the readers expecting to find?
  • What does your resume tell them about you?
  • Does your resume show that you meet the qualifications to do the job?

What are key words

Keywords are nouns and action verbs that employers use to seek out potential candidates for a position. Keywords can be job titles, industry-related terminology, current "buzzwords", specialized skills, degrees, education, licenses, certification, and computer applications.

Please be aware that keywords are greatly subjective and you can't guess every possible keyword and include in your resume.

Where can I find keywords?

  • Internal Job postings
  • Internet job postings
  • Job descriptions on the internet
  • Trade publications & business magazines
  • Speak with colleagues in the area of interest
  • During formal networking meetings
  • Meetings & websites of professional organizations
  • Company websites to identify culture/values
  • Annual reports
  • Online discussion groups

Examples of keywords

Business Unit Manager:
Marketing Manager. Product Manager. Field Sales. National Sales Team. $100 million Sales. District Sales Manager. Number One Market Share. Key Account Sales Programs. Joint Venture. Distribution Network.

Systems Engineer:
Systems Analysis. Systems Integration. Preliminary Design. Mainframe to Client/Server System Migration. New Technology Integration. Project Management Skills. Software and Systems Planning and Designs Skills. Business Management and Marketing Skills. BS, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Clerical Support:
Administrative Assistant. Microsoft Office. Organization Skills. Verbal and Written Communication Skills. Database Management. Quality Customer Service. PowerPoint Presentations. Excel Spreadsheets. Expense Reports.

 

Keywords Worksheet:  Download


Creating a Marketing Masterpiece

What should my resume do?

The purpose of the resume is to attract attention and encourage a potential employer to call you to talk further or schedule an interview. This means that your resume should function as one of your primary marketing tools. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is to write their resume like a series of job descriptions. This often does not give a strong representation of performance quality and contributions.

How do I determine accomplishments?

Your resume will get more attention if the content contains results-oriented statements that both quantify and qualify your accomplishments. When reflecting on your work experience, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Was I good at what I've done? How did I know that? How did others know?
  • What criteria were used to evaluate my work?
  • What were my contributions?
  • What was the impact of what I did?
  • What were the results of my activities?


Think back over your work experiences. Accomplishments can include:

 

  • Increased productivity or quality
  • Improved process
  • Improved / Contributed to team work and resolved conflict.
  • Streamlined a process or procedure
  • Identified needs or problems and initiated solutions
  • Saved time and money
  • Demonstrated leadership
  • Provided support to management
  • Selected for more or special responsibilities based on your performance
  • Functioned as an expert