Keywords for success

Have you analysed your CV in order to make sure that it contains the correct keywords?

If you haven’t you could be severely damaging your prospects of being selected and ultimately gaining employment.

What are keywords?

Keywords are the words that employers are looking to find when reviewing a CV or application.

Why are keywords important?

  1. Keywords help recruiters to quickly identify skills, qualifications and experience required in a candidate.
  2. Recruiters often create a scorecard consisting of keywords to help them shortlist applications. To achieve the best application score you need to include relevant keywords and ensure that that are clearly visible to the recruiter.
  3. Failure to mention relevant keywords could mean that you miss your chance of being selected.

What keywords should you include?

You should include keywords relevant to the specific job. Here are 3 things that you can do to ensure that you select the right keywords.

  • Read through the job application and highlight the keywords. Keywords to look out for include job titles, qualifications, experience and specific skills.
  • Recruiters want to see that candidates have knowledge of an industry and/or profession. To demonstrate this you will need to include keywords specific to the industry and/or profession.
  • Job titles are keywords that can differ from company to company. However, the actual job may be the same. The job title “Receptionist” is far more widely understood and more likely to be searched for than “Guest Service Advisor”. You should therefore consider including a job title that is more widely understood and improves your chances of selection.

Where to place keywords in your CV

Keywords should be placed where they are clearly visible to a recruiter. Some applicants place keywords in a key skills section at the beginning of their CV. Keywords should also be included in the relevant sections of a CV e.g. summary, employment history, education etc.

Finally – Create a good CV not just one that is made up of keywords

The most important thing in any CV or application is to clearly demonstrate how you meet or exceed the requirements stipulated in the job advertisement. Filling your CV with just a list of keywords and phrases could have a negative effect on the quality of your CV and therefore your chances of being selected. Try to create a high quality CV that includes relevant keywords rather than one that is just a list of keywords.

Further Information

To find more careers articles visit: Careers Advice

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