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Resume Tips: How to Enhance Your Resume with Keywords

New technology used by employers like the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is making the job search more challenging than ever. ATS technology scans your resume for keywords and phrases that are relevant to the position. When you submit your resume online, it goes through an ATS first before being seen by the hiring manager. This is why it’s more important than ever for job seekers to structure their resume with keywords in order to make sure their resume passes the ATS scan. Here are some resume tips on keywords job seekers can utilize in their job search to make their resumes pass the ATS scan test.

As Pongo states, ATS technology is always improving and its latest software looks at resumes closely for key phrases and words that demonstrate experience and relevance with the job position. Job seekers in their job search should tailor their resume for the job position available by employers. That is why so many articles focused on resume tips suggest that you cater each resume to the job you are applying to. In your job search, take a close look at the qualifications the job is requesting in the job post. Make sure you put specific keywords that are used in the job description in your resume. If you need ideas on what keywords to put on your resume that are relevant to the desired job position, search through LinkedIn profiles of people that have that kind of job and see what keywords they use to describe themselves in order to gain some resume tips for your own resume.

As avid job seekers, you should keep in mind that it isn’t just about having the right keywords. In your resume you should also have the right descriptors to frame keywords with relevant experience in order to position yourself as the most desirable candidate. For example, if you have three years of experience with certain software versus taking a class on the software once in college, the ATS software will recognize that you are knowledgeable in the field. This is why it’s crucial that along with your list of skills and specialties that you also list the amount of experience you have with them. The more experience you have in your field, the more likely you are to pass through the ATS and have your resume seen by employers as a valuable candidate.

Other keywords that the ATS may look for are “professional committee” and “association memberships” in addition to the length of time you’ve been part of them. Any trade shows and conferences you’ve attended along with the dates you attended them should also be tacked onto your resume to enhance your job search. For any acronyms or abbreviations, you may want to make sure to also spell out the whole names of titles as the ATS software may not recognize abbreviated words. The more you familiarize yourself with ATS technology and your own job field, the easier it will be to recognize and implement keywords that will help you in your job search.

You can take these resume tips and hopefully increase the chances of snagging a position in your job search. You want to be mindful of specific keywords to use, but you also want to familiarize yourself with words that hurt your resume. These are almost just as important and if used in your own resume they can be ruining your chances of getting the job.

What resume tips have you used as job seekers to better your chances of getting a job? Have you found that using specific keywords on your resume helps? Let us know what you do to enhance your job search in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Nguyen Vu Hung (vuhung)

Hanna Guerrero

Hannah is an intern writer here at Spark Hire. She is from the northern suburbs in Chicago and is currently studying journalism at DePaul University. She has always had a passion for writing which is why Journalism has proven to be the perfect career for her. She has written for the DePaulia Online on various topics such as fashion, music, movies and television. She loves living in Chicago because it offers exciting events to write stories on. In her free time she enjoys going to music concerts, watching movies with friends, cooking vegetarian food and walking her adorable Cocker Spaniel Coco.