CV & Resume Keywords

Keywords versus the job-specific keywords

In job-hunting today, there is a different set of magic words for every job - the job-specific keywords also known as CV or resume keywords, buzzwords or simply keywords as general term. Keywords are nothing new. Keywords are specific words that relate to the skills and experience the job seekers have in a particular industry or profession - like in keywords by industry.

Employers, recruiters and headhunters use job-specific keywords to find the job candidates they want to interview. That same job-specific keywords when used by job seekers in they resumes become resume keywords, CV keywords or buzzwords. Although one might assume keywords are individual words, they can be phrases too.

Flooded by CVs and resumes from job seekers, the employers, recruiters and headhunters are digitizing CVs and resumes and placing them in keyword-searchable databases. The digitized CVs and resumes allow them to use computer software to search and screen those CV & resume databases for job-specific keywords that relate to job vacancies they have. These days most CVs & resumes and cover letters that medium and large size companies receive are first electronically scanned into their CV & resume databases.

You have no way of knowing exactly what job-specific keywords they may use in job applications screening process. To some extent, it is not true, because that information is included in the job adverts and/or job descriptions. Using a simple deduction method described below you may reveal them.

How to identify the job-specific keywords i.e. CV & resume keywords

Job seekers have been advised for long time to emphasize action verbs/action words/power words in their job-search applications. That "what you did" associated with action verbs/action words/power words are the keywords. In the vast majority of cases, they are nouns - like in examples below:


Designed and negotiated comprehensive employee benefits package, including health insurance, life insurance, and long-term disability, to realize significant cost savings.
Developed regional specialty with steel frameworks, fiberglass, roofing, and siding.
Managed reproduction and organization of all project blueprints to ensure ready access to design and working drawings.

CV & Resume keywords or job-specific keywords can be:

• job, profession or/and industry-specific skills,
• technical, medical, scientific, technological or/and engineering terms,
• job titles
• certifications
• names of products or/and services,
• industry buzzwords, jargon and/or terminology
• types of degrees,
• names of colleges, universities or courses you attended,
• company names,
• area codes, for narrowing down searches geographically,
• awards you've won
• names of professional organizations to which you belong, etc.

You need to realize, that when a prospective employer reads the keyword "sales", s/he will assume you have experience in product/service presentation, cold-calling, negotiations, sales closings, customer service and more. Just single keyword can communicate multiple skills and qualifications.

Use keywords in all your marketing communications, including CVs, resumes, cover letters, interview follow-up letters, executive profiles and more. Carefully integrate them into the text, when and where appropriate. Be sure you are communicating a complete message of who you are and what value and knowledge you bring to the organization.

Remember, these same keywords will be the foundation for your interviews. Not only you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also you must be able to talk about them as well, in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.

Take a look at keywords by industry


art_remember keywordsCheck the spelling and grammar of your CV or resume. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or other language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your resume or CV, send it to a professional for assistance.

art_tip keywordsRemember that your resume or CV must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have a difficulty with your CV or resume writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use:

for CVs:

for resumes:

Other CV & Resume Keywords Info

Now to finalize your job search, if your cover letter and resume or CV are ready, you may email them through our international job search engine to job recruiters and headhunters.

In addition, on job search, cover letter, resume or CV, job interview and dress code pages, you will find very useful tips for many different countries.

Good luck with your CV & resume keywords.

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