Keywords in Resume Writing

By: Pat Kendall

Resume keywording is the process of adding legitimate keywords to your resume to maximize its keyword content. Since most resumes are processed electronically – and ranked and scored based on their keyword content – it’s very likely that the effectiveness of your resume will hinge on whether it contains the right keywords.


How do we know which keywords to use? We look at the keywords employers use in their job postings.


To maximize your resume’s keyword content, search for job examples that are as close as possible to your ideal job, then weave the keywords from these examples into your resume – in context.


To find appropriate job descriptions, try, AKA the “Google” of job searching. Since pulls jobs from sites all over the net – Monster, CareerBuilder, Craig’s List, corporate sites, etc. – it can streamline your job shopping efforts.


Using keywords to find jobs


Every job, career field, and industry has its own unique set of ever-evolving keywords. To ensure that you’re using the right keywords for your resume, do not rely on a static list pulled from a book. Instead, search for current examples of your ideal job using online resources such as


If you’re searching for a job that is similar to your current

or most recent job:


Search for your current job title or other variations.


Example: A sales representative looking for a sales job in his current industry might search for job titles, job functions, or industry terms such as account representative, sales executive, new business development, B2B, channel management, inside sales, field sales, telecommunications, solution selling, etc.


If you’re making a career transition:


Search for job titles or job functions that exemplify what you would do in your ideal job.


Example: A sales rep who wants to change industries might conduct a search using job titles and the “desired” industry: pharmaceutical, industrial sales, medical, hospital sales, consumer goods. etc.


If you’re moving up the ladder:


Search for job titles or job functions that reflect the direction you want to take in your career.


Example: A sales rep who’s ready to move into management might search for job titles such as sales management, sales manager, regional trainer or job functions like regional sales, sales leadership, sales administration, etc.


About the Author: Pat Kendall is a nationally certified resume writer and e-resume expert with 20+ years of experience. Pat is the author of two books on electronic resumes / online job search and contributor to The Complete Job Search Guide for Latinos. For more information, visit



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