When you apply to a job online, it can feel like your resume might be getting lost among who knows how many others. And honestly, sometimes it does. But there are some things you can do to ensure your resume will be accurately matched to jobs that suit you, instead of getting buried beneath a digital pile of other people’s resumes. Namely, use great keywords.
Often, when you apply to a specific job, your resume goes right to a box specific to that job. So there might not be anything further you need to do to stand out, as long as your resume accurately describes your experience, and your experience is a fit for the job.
But sometimes, your resume may be uploaded separately, and sent into a database that isn’t specific to the job. This is where doing some careful thinking about keywords can benefit you.
Now it goes without saying that if your resume is well-written, it will by default contain keywords that describe your experience, which an applicant tracking system will pick up. Still, it helps to look over your resume and ask yourself these questions:
- Did you use synonyms for your job title? For example, if you’re looking for a digital copywriter position, did you include variations like “copywriting,” “copywriter,” and “digital writer?” Without going overboard and being repetitive, it helps to cover your bases.
- Did you use a breadth of words, from more general words like “copywriter” to more specific ones like “blogging,” “social media monitoring” and “content strategy?” It’s important to use a range of words from the more general to highly specific, for the very best match to the job you want.
- Did you refer to the prospective employer’s job description? If their description includes specific verbiage, make sure you use those exact words to describe your own experience, if they apply.
It’s a balance you should strike, keeping your resume clear and concise, while also covering your bases. So write the resume first, then go in and replace words where needed without compromising the readability. This will give you a leg up on the competition, and you’ll feel better knowing you maximized your chances of being considered for the job you want.