One of the tactics I recommend to every professional is the effective use of keywords. Keywords help you understand what’s relevant to your industry. When you leverage keywords in your job search, they are magic. They are the secret sauce you need to advance in your career and land that killer job. They to get you from step A to Z every single time. I wrote this blog as a career counseling resource to guide you through the process.


What are keywords?


Keywords are the skills, abilities, credentials, and qualities that are valuable to your field or industry. These words tend to be industry-specific. However, they can overlap into other areas when it comes to behaviors or qualities. The higher you climb in your organization, the more critical these behavioral and quality keywords become to your success.


However, it is essential to realize that keywords are NOT buzzwords. I’m looking at you, “GURU-NINJA-ORACLE-ROCKSTAR.” Only include “ninja” if you apply for a literal ninja job, and you have extensive martial arts training. Otherwise, aim for terms like “Subject Matter Expert.”


How are keywords used during the recruitment process? A career counseling resource 


On the employer’s side, talent management system algorithms pre-screen resumes for keywords. Later, hiring managers and recruiters use them to narrow the field further.


Recruiters also use those keywords to find people who haven’t yet applied for posted jobs. Keywords are beacons that light you up. They got you noticed by people who have the opportunities you want.


Employers want well-qualified employees who are highly skilled and match their corporate culture. They value candidates focused on professional growth and who want to advance at the organization. Your new boss needs employees who will make them successful year after year.


Companies want motivated, high-quality, capable talent. The right keywords identify you as a valuable asset. They identify you as a person on the rise.


So you should include them everywhere! Use them in your resume, on your LinkedIn page, in your professional brand statement, and during interviews. Use as many as possible to stand out from other candidates and build career success. You also want to keep those keywords up to date, even after you’ve landed the job you want. I designed this career counseling resource to help you know the best way to use them.


Keeping up to date is crucial for your LinkedIn profile too! An optimized profile makes it easier for opportunities to find you. The more opportunities come your way, the higher you will go on your career ladder. Keep your profile up to date, and you won’t get left behind.


How do you know which keywords to use?


First off, you need to use keywords that apply to you. It would be best if you were honest. Faking it ’til you make it can be a path to job termination. You don’t want to land the job and then lose it. That wastes everyone’s time and contributes to a negative reputation. The keywords you use should be part of who you are, how you show up at work, and they form part of your professional brand. Keywords let people know what they can expect from you.


Second, do your homework to uncover the best keywords to use. Spend quality time reviewing the company About page or pages about company culture. Companies invest in their branding to attract the right people. You want to show them it’s you! Grab that recruiter’s attention and do your homework. Don’t wing it!


Third, review the job description and watch particularly for repeated words. Those are important to include. Also, take a careful look at the terminology used in the job description. Sometimes employers recycle job descriptions, and they don’t reflect current industry realities. Make sure the keywords you use show you are on the cutting edge of your field.


Keywords open doors. Keywords get you spoken about in rooms you’ve never entered. Master keywords and will find the career of your dreams. Do you need a hand integrating keywords into your resume? Want to use keywords and get you noticed in your job search? Arrange for your resume review today!


I hope this has been helpful to you as a career counseling resource, and good luck in your search!  

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