Adding Keywords to Your Resume To Get That Interview
A robot might see your resume before a potential employer. Many hiring managers receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of resumes. Most use a program to filter the good from the bad. If your resume doesn’t have the right words or phrases, it won’t get past the program, the hiring manger won’t see it. Here’s a practical example of how to add keywords to your resume.
Take this sample job description for an Administrative Assistant position:
Our client is looking for an organized and hard-working Administrative Professionals to manage reception area, perform higher level office support duties and provide specialized program support for an administrative department.
Multiple positions available.
High school graduates encouraged to apply.
Monday – Friday, some weekends
Qualified individuals will perform a wide range of administrative and personal assistant duties including:
- Conducting research
- Preparing statistical reports, spreadsheets, correspondence and presentations
- Handling information requests
- Planning conferences and meetings
- Providing purchasing and payroll support
- Fulfilling employment administration requirements
- Making travel arrangements
- Maintaining calendars and schedules
- Superior verbal and written communication skills and phone etiquette
- Strong attention do detail
- Exceptional organizational skills
- Must have ability to work independently and as a team member
- Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially Word, Excel and PowerPoint
- Must have excellent customer service skills
- Excellent typing
- Ability to multi-task
- Previous experience a plus
Look at the first bullet points under the Job Description and Job Requirements. Those are the most important skills to the employer. The terms research and communication need to be on your resume.
Your experience should match the job announcement. Under experience, say something like “Communicated with superiors to arrange and finalize travel plans and meeting schedules” or “Conducted research to determine customer’s contact information.”
Go through each announcement and highlight or write down keywords. For this job, the important words and phrases are such things as communication, organizational, work independently, Microsoft Office and customer service. Under the job description, some important words/phrases are payroll, research, travel arrangements and calendars. Your resume doesn’t need to have all the important words. You should try to seamlessly include as many as you can.
In addition, add a skills section at the top of your resume. It might look something like this:
- Bilingual: Fluent in English and Spanish
- Typing speed 40 wpm
- Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
- Confident communication on the phone and face-to-face
- Professionally prepare written reports and presentations
- Specialize in calendar management
A skills section is another way to pack your resume with the right keywords.