How to Determine the Keywords for Your Resume Needs?

A successful resume is highly organized and aims at highlighting the respective skills and qualifications as required by the given job application. In addition to this, it is equally important to know about the use of the right keywords or phrases to draw the attention of the hiring managers. It can also help your resume to go through the Application Tracking System seamlessly. Therefore, you should be adept at essential resume writing tips for improved results.

What are Resume Phrases and Keywords?

Resume phrases and keywords are particular skills, abilities, traits, and expertise that hiring managers and recruiters look for in a particular candidate. Keywords feature specific job-centric nouns for describing the soft as well as hard skills along with qualifications for a specific job.

Action verbs will help in demonstrating what you have achieved in the past experience. Combining action verbs and keywords will help in creating phrases that systems or employers scan for.

Importance of Resume Phrases and Keywords

Phrases and keywords are significant because a wide number of organizations pre-scan applications with the help of ATS or Application Tracking System electronically. The ATS is responsible for screening the document for specific keywords or phrases that are related to the given job application.

ATS software turns out to be sophisticated. In most instances, it is programmed for:

  •       Uncovering keyword spamming
  •       Searching for relevant resumes with proper keywords specific to the given job requirements
  •       Counting and ranking resumes with respect to keyword frequency
  •       Ranking a resume higher as it uses a particular keyword along with related skills

As the ATS technology serves to be advanced, it is imperative to use phrases and keywords in a smart manner.

Tips for Searching for the Right Keywords & Phrases

Here are some tips to uncover the best set of keywords or phrases that remain relevant to the given job specification:

#Analyzing Job Posts for Skills as Desired by the Employees

To go through the job position is the first thing that you should implement. It helps in determining which specific phrases or keywords you wish to include in the resume and the cover letter. Employers tend to clearly specify the exact criteria while searching for the right candidate. In most cases, they also specify the exact desired skills in the job post’s first paragraph. As you will be going through the job description, you can highlight the main keywords that you come across.

#Analyzing Job Ads for the Given Job Title

Another great way to analyse the right phrases and keywords that you should use in the resume is by going through other job advertisements for the given job position. After you have gone through around 8-10 job ads additionally, you can select the most famous keywords that are used in the same.

The given set of keywords or phrases is going to be the most relevant for the given job position to which you are applying. A simple way of ranking keywords is copying and pasting the text of the ad into some word-cloud generator. It will reveal the most prominent keywords.

#Examining the Website of the Company

Go through the website of the particular organization. It will help in providing you with relevant keywords that aim reflecting the respective brand values and objectives. When you make use of the given keywords in your resume writing, it will reveal that you are an ideal fit for the company.

#Reviewing the Experience and Skills of High-level Positions

Another lucrative way of coming across the right phrases and keywords for your resume is by going through some relevant job positions. Assess the keywords in the same manner you would while analysing ads for the given job position. During this instance, you can consider adding some common skills possessed and listed through ads for high-level job positions.

This will help in setting your document apart from others who might not possess the same level of experience or skills. If it is possible, it is recommended to include advanced skills in the ‘areas of interest’ section in the resume. This will reveal to the recruiters that you have the motivation and desire to lean the given skills.

Using Keywords in the Resume

When you are using keywords or relevant phrases in your document, here are some points to remember:

  •       Including location-based keywords
  •       Using variations of keywords
  •       Incorporating phrases and keywords throughout the resume
  •       Using hard skills for a major part of the keywords


To ensure that your resume passes through the scrutiny of ATS is crucial. However, human recruiters and readers are equally important. Ideally, a recruiter-friendly and ATS-compatible resume should be grammatically correct while featuring important keywords and phrases to stay relevant to the given job position.