Top 10 Resume Tip #3 – Use Industry Keywords

Top 10 Resume Tip #3 – Use Industry Keywords

You have heard that resumes should have keywords but you are just not sure what they are or where they go in your resume. I am here to help you figure that out.

Where to find keywords

I use industry-specific worksheets to help prompt my clients to select keywords that fit their job targets. Another way to look for keywords is to analyze the job description that you are applying for to determine which key words fit.

Using that line of thinking, take a look at this mini-version of a job description for this IT Security position I found on LinkUp. LinkUp is one of my favorite job search engines because of the accuracy of the listings, they aren’t stale or bogus.

How to pick Keywords

Reading this job description, some of the keywords I might pick out would include:

  • Enterprise Security
  • Information Security Threats
  • Global Infrastructure
  • Strategic Planning
  • Technology Adoptions and Evolutions

Verifying Keyword Validity

My clients are my best source of what is valuable in their industry so I always verify that any keywords I select meets several criteria:

  • Industry Specific – matches their industry
  • Industry Current – is not an outdated term
  • Client Specific – nothing is worse than putting in a keyword and claiming expertise to the keyword and getting to the interview with no ability to defend what you know. If you don’t know it, don’t put it on your resume.

Positioning Keywords in Resumes

Where you put keywords is somewhat up to you. I weave them all the way through every resume I write. You will find some in my banner headlines, in my selected accomplishment sections, in specific Key Strengths sections and in the body of my resumes. No matter who is reading your resume, a human or a computer, by positioning keywords throughout your resume, you will guarantee that they will be found. Keywords also belong in your LinkedIn profile and any other online profiles that you have when you are thinking of changing your career or in the middle of a job search.

Don’t leave out the keywords, this is how the hiring manager knows you will fit the job.

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  1. Mona Franco on February 6, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Hey There Julie Walraven,
    I was wondering on a similar note, The title is, without a doubt, the single most important part of your article. If you write a million dollar article, and add a crappy title, you wind up with a great article that no one will see. And, in the article marketing business, readers and page views are the only things that really matter.

    • Julie Walraven on February 6, 2012 at 5:46 am

      The title is important to any kind of writing. The best way to learn how to write effect titles is find someone who is a master at it and study the concept. Jim Connolly from Jim’s Marketing Blog is someone I emulate. You can also get clear instructions from Copyblogger.

      If you are talking about writing content online, the title is critical, so is the appearance of your site, the length of your articles (300-500 words is optimal).

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Val on September 8, 2012 at 1:04 am

    What if you are entering into a new field in which you have no experience? I want to get into admin/receptionist/secretary field, but all of my previous jobs are unrelated. I have no clue how to use keywords.

    • Julie Walraven on September 8, 2012 at 6:27 am

      Well, Val, think very hard because if you have no experience and no expertise in that area, you won’t be able to convince an employer that you can handle the job. That’s the real purpose of keywords to help both real eyes and computer eyes understand that you are a match.

      What makes you want that kind of job? Have you gone to school? Key Words can also come from mastering something in school even if you don’t have the skill. What about volunteering? Have you volunteered for an organization and done that type of work. Then the keywords are still valid. Have you helped a family business? You might not consider that work (but you probably should) and you could get the keywords that way.

      Your job targets should match your skill sets even if you didn’t earn them at work. An admin does lots of filing, either with paper or electronically. You need to understand organizational systems and be able to organize numerically or alphabetically. You also should be great at people skills, answering the phones, triaging calls, diffusing difficult customers, and in general communicating.

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Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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