Struggling to make your resume stand out from the pile? Part of the problem might be that it is never even being viewed by a human being. Modern computer programs called applicant tracking systems (ATSs) give employers the ability to search resumes based on keywords. Although you might be able to explain a job duties from past jobs ten different ways, only one of them might get noticed on a resume due to simple vocabulary.
As job seekers now have the ability to apply for a multitude of positions online at a fast rate, employers are exposed to larger stacks of resumes and need a way of efficiently identifying qualified candidates. That's where keywords come into play. These buzzwords are often used regularly throughout a job description and relate directly to the position. Hence, it would be unsurprising if a keyword for a marketing position included "marketing" or "marketed". Using keywords on your resume will increase your chances of separating it from the hoi polloi. Here's a basic guide to making the most of keywords on your resume:
Use industry-specific language
If you are applying for several jobs in one industry, find words that are used commonly throughout a number of position descriptions. For example, if you are applying for a job with a book publisher, using common terms that are found across editing, marketing and production positions in that industry will ensure your resume likely has at least one keyword used by a publisher's ATS. However, this is just a general way of catering your resume to an industry overall, dig deeper by finding keywords that are pertinent to a specific position that will individualize your resume to fit the job title for which you're applying.
Use LinkedIn as a jumping off point
View profiles on LinkedIn of professionals who are currently in a similar role to the one for which you're applying. Find words that commonly appear throughout their profiles and utilize the terms as keywords for your resume. LinkedIn is also a solid platform for researching the different ways professionals label and define their job titles.
Include job functions
Remember that an ATS only searches resumes based on keywords and nothing else. Therefore, it is important to include various past job functions that might seem implicit. That is to say, if you have previously worked as an editor, it might be implied that you have a strong grasp of AP style, but if an ATS is using AP as a keyword, it won't be able to make that leap solely based on your previous job title.