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Resume Keyword Optimization

Learn from professional resume writers about the importance of optimizing your resume with the right resume keywords.

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Keyword-Optimized Resumes

by - The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service

Those in the Web business know that optimizing a site page is essential to getting it on the search-results lists of major search engines like Google. Nowadays, with the combined impact of online resume-posting and the increasingly prevalent use of scanning technology, even by small companies, the same principle applies to your resume: optimization is essential!

Changing Standards

When resume-scanning software first hit the job market, it wasn't very sophisticated. Keyword summaries were placed at the top of ascii or text resumes to ensure that they were picked up by the somewhat rudimentary software. Similarly, formatting was minimized for fear that it would interfere with the scan.

Nowadays, these rules no longer apply.

Modern scanning software has come a long way and can recognize text in boldface, italics, designer fonts, and bullets. Furthermore, it can scan for keywords throughout your resume, not just in an assigned area. For that reason, a well-crafted "normal" resume can in fact be an optimized keyword resume that's poised to get noticed when electronic filters stand between you and a hiring manager.

The Importance of the Right Resume Keywords

It may be daunting to realize that your success in scoring an interview could hinge on a few carefully selected resume keywords, but with keyword-based scanning, this is the case. Employers who use this technology (up to 80 percent of them, by some counts) determine a set of mandatory keywords that reflect the duties of a given job. For example, an accountant's resume keywords would be 'general ledger', 'AP/AR', payroll, 'reconciliations', etc.

Based on the number of "hits" your resume achieves when it is scanned, your resume will be ranked and submitted to a hiring manager for further review...or not. So how do you determine the appropriate keywords?

Finding Your Golden Keywords

Finding the right resume keywords takes a little work, but it's completely achievable. If you're applying for a particular position, a great place to start would be the job listing - but be careful. A hiring manager is savvy enough to detect when their own listing is being regurgitated back to them. That said, the clever use of words that speak to their requirements is always appropriate, as long as it aligns with your professional experience.

If you're conducting a broader search by posting your resume on an online job board like, then your resume will be seen by multiple potential employers. How do you then choose the right keywords? Consider how your goals align with your experience. For any resume, the trick is to use what you've accomplished to paint a picture of what you want to do next.

You can determine the keywords most likely to be on an employer's must-have list by:

  • Analyzing job postings that are in step with the type of position you want to land.
  • Taking a look at the career listings of employers in your target industry.
  • Remaining up-to-date on the latest buzzwords in your field.

By optimizing your resume, your will be able to successfully emerge from the resume-scanning process (or online job search), while also creating a document that makes a compelling case for your candidacy. is part of CyberEdit, Inc. that boasts of a core team of 200+ Harvard-educated editors, certified resume writers, and technical writers providing quality writing assistance via the Internet.