Resume Keywords Unleashed: 600+ Examples & Tips to Maximize Their Impact

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Writing strong keywords in your resume shows that you are well-organized and understand what qualities the companies are looking for. Therefore, it is important to write resume keywords to catch your employers’ attention.

Job keywords also help you in boosting job applications if you use the correct applicant tracking system keywords. Since the ATS system catches phrases and finds out whether it matches the job description, including ATS keywords would definitely be very helpful.

Definition & Benefits of Resume Keywords

When companies open up positions, there would likely be hundreds or thousands of applicantions from everywhere. Therefore, good resume keywords would make you be seen by hiring managers.

Especially when there are a lot of candidates, companies would rely on a system called Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). This software would scan resumes and look for resume keywords. Some ATS systems could even use job descriptions as a base. They would find out whether this resume matches the job description and filter those that don’t match automatically. Moreover, this practice is widely used these days among recruiters. That being said, resume keywords are vital!

After passing the ATS system, your resume would be screened by the potential employers thoroughly. However, since there might still be a lot of CVs to look at, putting the right resume keywords is still a plus! Recruiters could see that you took your time to understand who they are looking for and would also get to know your strength much easier.

How to Pick the Best Keywords for Your Resume

After understanding how important resume keywords are, now consider the steps for adopting resume keywords. The following are three steps you should apply when searching for resume keywords:

Step 1: Search for suitable keywords from the job description

Let’s take product manager as an example. If you were to apply for the position of product manager, first remember to read through the job description to find some job posting keywords to put in your resume. 

Take a look at this product manager keywords found on a job description:

  • Understand and execute the product creation process according to timelines
  • Analyze the performance of new products
  • Cooperate well and able to support other teams to maintain trustful relationships

Then try and analyze what are the qualifications that the recruiter is looking for. From the example, you could imply that the company is looking for someone with the capability to organize the schedule of the whole product. And another quality they’re looking for is those that fit well in diverse teams. Hence, analyze the resume keywords that are related to these skills and characteristics, and write them down!

You could also search for the same position that other companies opened, and see what kind of personalities or skills other companies are searching for. You could consider including the keywords from job descriptions in your resume. 

What you could do next is to look through the companies’ websites. Usually, you could find out whether these companies are energetic, traditional, or even modern throughout their websites. Then you could fill in relevant personalities and skills as your resume keyword into your resume.

Step 2: Categorize the keywords into different types

Once you’ve analyzed your job description and written down your resume keywords, remember to categorize them into different types.

Resume keywords could be divided into action verbs, hard skills, and soft skills:

  • Action verbs: One of the most useful resume keywords is action verbs. They are considered as powerful words. They could emphasize your strength and present your ability well. Action verbs could demonstrate the skills you’ve obtained and make you impress your employer in advance.
  • Hard skills: Resume keywords should include hard skills. These are the keywords to put in the resume that could prove your abilities in the following field. Hence, put in job-related keywords to show that you’re capable of doing this job.
  • Soft skills: As mentioned above, you could also look at what style the company you’re applying for inquires. If the company values teamwork, make sure to put related personalities or soft skills onto your resume.

Take a look at some of these resume keywords examples:

  • Action verbs: accomplished, managed, initiated, supervised
  • Hard skills: SQL, Javascript, Python, C++
  • Soft skills: self-organized, disciplined, time management

Step 3: Divide the keywords into suitable resume sections

The final step is to divide the following resume keywords into different sections. This is the most tricky part but also the most vital section.

  • Resume Summary Section

In your resume summary, you could include more action verbs as the main resume keywords for this section. Since this part would be crafted as a paragraph, using action verbs as your resume keywords could highlight the crucial part of a sentence.

  • Resume Work Experience Section

Normally, the work experience section is written in bullet points and short sentences. Hence, utilize action verbs as resume keywords are recommended. Since you would probably want to enhance the importance of your experience, using action verbs is one of the best ways to do so.

  • Resume Education Section

Employers usually want to know what you’ve learned throughout your education journey. Unlike work experience section, education section is usually not that important and does not need to be too detailed. Thus, you could add only short resume keywords like hard skills.

  • Resume Skills Section

This section is somehow a summary of what you have acquired in your past experiences, so you can include hard skills and soft skills as resume keywords for the skills section.

600+ Strong Resume Keywords List for Different Jobs

Accounting Resume Keywords

Spreadsheet, accounts payable, accounts, receivable, banking, assets, corporate tax, cost accounting, credit analysis, debt financing, deposit, loan, branch operations, audit, return on equity, securities, risk management, return on investment, revenue, capital, E-trade, job costing, operating budgets

Administrative Assistant Resume Keywords

Managing, controlling expenses, dependability, creating complex macros, adaptability, Microsoft, prioritizing tasks, taking initiative, teamwork, organized, time management, confidentiality, proofreading documents

Business Resume Keywords

Workflow management, campaigns, brand messaging, sales development, target audience, email marketing, analytics, critical thinking, adaptability, decision making

Culture, Art & Design Resume Keywords

Adobe, Photoshop, Illustrator, CSS, web design, art, bibliography, color, Pinterest, sketch, InDesign, portfolio, preservation, creative, gallery, Final Cut Pro X, Premiere, print, packaging, ideation, Behance, typography

Education & Teacher Resume Keywords

Mentor, student services, tutoring, education, administration, classroom, peer counseling, discipline, field instruction, technology, course, curriculum, coach, teaching, training, literacy, mathematics, program development

Engineering Resume Keywords

Regulatory compliance, tender documentation, R&D, charge order, computer-aided, development cycle, 3D modeling, experimental design, field performance, analysis, project planning, qualitative analysis, industrial engineering, environmental testing

Finance Resume Keywords

Financial planning, foreign exchange, global banking, credit analysis, commercial banking, profits, investor relations, letters of credit, leveraged buyout, stock, trade, trust, FILO, operating budgets, shareholders

Healthcare & Nursing Resume Keywords

Treatment, casework, assisted living, acute care, chronic care, managed care, substance abuse, psychology, social services, behavior management, multi-hospital, emergency, clinic, public health, vocational placement 

IT & Data Analyst Resume Keywords

IaaS, information systems, java, javascript, NoSQL, SQL, operating system, cellular, benchmarking, capacity, AI, engineering, real-time, WAN, SaaS, server, systems acquisition, wireless, implementation, local area network

Customer Service Resume Keywords

Communication, critical thinking, positive attitude, problem-solving, complaint resolution, Jira service desk, salesforce, Microsoft, Product knowledge, ERP, Freshdesk, service-based selling, decision making

Marketing Resume Keywords

B2B, B2C, brand management, profit growth, promotions, revenue stream, wholesale, trend analysis, transportation, target market, margin, market share, customer loyalty, competitive analysis, account management

Management Keywords

Operation management, administration, supply chain, business analysis, profit and loss, inventory tracking, logistics, market positioning, regulatory report, proposal writing, asset management, budgeting, human resources

Project Management Keywords

Data analysis, communication, problem-solving, time management, executive, organized, risk management, analytical, project coordination, strategic thinkings, interpersonal skills, prioritizing, organizational skills

Recruitment & HR Resume Keywords

Applicants screening, labor contract, negotiation skills, team building, workforce, assessment, candidates, career, competency, performance incentives, union relations, professional recruitment, salary

Service & Hospitality Resume Keywords

Health, safety, catering, hospitality management, maintenance, inventory planning, HACCP, housekeeping, club management, customer service, event coordination, food sanitation, guest service, concierge

Social Work Resume Keywords

Mental health, case management, abuse, child welfare, adoption, nonprofit organization, community outreach, social work, ANSA, action plan, crisis intervention

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Tips on How to Effectively Use Resume Keywords in a Resume

If you still encounter difficulties in choosing where to put your resume keywords, below are some useful tips on how to put keywords for resume writing to make it shine.

💡 Always refer to the job description for the correct keywords to use.

Before start crafting your resume, be sure to look through your job description for keywords. It is where your employers give you hints about the employees they are looking for. Find out the important part and write them down as your resume keywords.

💡 Use an ATS-friendly resume format.

As aforementioned, the ATS system is what hiring managers use a lot when filtering candidates. Accordingly, using ATS keywords to write an ATS-friendly resume is very vital. To make sure that there are relevant keywords for resume scanners, use as many relevant resume keywords as possible. Check out this resume checker site that will help you beat the ATS system

💡 Use the correct job title the company is looking for.

Making sure that you are applying for jobs that match your skills and expertise is important. Hence, your resume keywords should highly match the job title companies had asked for. Changing your previous job title to match the resume keywords is okay, just make sure that it is still relevant.

💡 Look through the company’s website.

A website of the company could somehow show the culture within that company. You could look through the company’s website to figure out what skills or traits you should have to stand out or attract the hiring manager’s eyes. By doing so, you could come up with some keywords that match.

💡 Search for job descriptions of the same title from other companies.

Sometimes when you compare similar job descriptions, you may discover whether or not you have missed any resume keywords. Thus, try to search for the same job opened by different companies to ensure you have added all the important keywords. Another way is to seek for job description keyword generator or resume keywords generator to craft up the best resume keywords.

🔑  Key Takeaways:

Resume keywords are important in every way. Recruiters not only look for CV keywords but also utilize the ATS system to filter out applicants. Keywords for job application could show your hiring managers how well you understand this job and how many skills you’ve accumulated in the past. Therefore, resume keywords are an essential part and should not be neglected.

--- Originally written by Eliana Tschang ---

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