Key words get your resume noticed

We’ve all heard that one of the most important things in real estate is location, location, location. The job search equivalent is key words, key words, key words. Key words are the nouns or phrases that employers and recruiters use when scanning or searching resumes.

How do you find the right key words? Your first step is to look at a variety of job descriptions in your chosen field or industry. You’ll see certain words or phrases used repeatedly. Pull out those words to create what we call your “magic list.” Then use your magic list when building your resume.

When you are customizing your resume to apply for a particular position, check the words or phrases in the job posting and be sure to mirror them in your resume. What you are trying to do is make sure you are noticed. If the recruiter doesn’t see your resume, you’ll never get out of the starting gate.

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Debra Fitzwater

Concur with Kathleen and don’t forget to network, network, network. Chances are, someone else is already being considered for the position while you are figuring out which key words/phrases to use. No disrespect to Ms Smith. She provides useful tips; however, the tide continues to change.

Good luck out there career seekers.

Debra Fitzwater/ Owner
PreEmpt Career Solutions, LLC
“It’s Not a Job. It’s a Federal Career.”
Office: 540.327.7527
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Andrew Krzmarzick

Great insight, Kathleen. I just had a friend ask me to review his resume, telling him what jumped off the page. He had optimized it for keywords as you describe, Kathleen, and wanted to be sure it was pretty obvious.

Same is true for writing blog posts and building content on the web to be found in organic search!

Kathleen Smith

thanks everyone for the comments.
Debra, no disrespect taken.

One major challenge is that many think that the ‘resume” is THE way to get a job. Well folks hate to tell you, it is not. It is part of the puzzle, and too many times job seekers think that once they have their resume done, the hard part is over and they can sit back and watch the offers come in.

The resume – like Andy’s comment to building content – is just part of the puzzle. As Debra says, networking is part of the puzzle, but again only part. There needs to be an overall strategy asking those big hard questions, a plan, implementation and finetuning.

Finding a job is a full time job. I will have more about this as we report on the Extreme Job Search Makeover we did during the summer.

Debra Fitzwater

Love your positive attitude, Kathleen. I am looking forward to hearing more about your Extreme Job Search Makeover. There are many dynamics to landing the right career (as you’ve already stated). A plan of action is the first step in the right direction…passivity will NOT work in this job market.

All the best.


David Broadwell

Wow,, I can’t stop reading your blog. Post after Post, it just gets better.

Thank you for taking the time to inform all of us. People just need to read to become better. It is really there own fault if they don’t.

Lida Verner

Thank you for these suggestions. As someone who is looking for a job with the government, I can use all the help I can get.