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How Keywords Can Get Your Job Application Noticed

by Tracey A. Maine on February 10, 2020

Not that long ago, the procedure for getting a job involved applicants filling out applications by hand and then mailing-or literally handing-the completed form to an actual human being.

However, courtesy of modern technology, this protocol is basically obsolete. 

Now, instead of filling out a job application with a pen or pencil applicants are required to type them out online and rather than sending their completed application directly to another person, applications are instead forwarded to tracking systems and applicant-screening machine learning systems that are designed to sort out qualified job candidates.  

While this screening process does save employers time, it also increases the chances that your application won't make it to the hiring manager if it doesn't meet certain benchmarks.

So what can job seekers do to get past these IT guard dogs? They can fill their resumes with market-defining keywords that will help their applications stand out from the competition!

What are keywords?

Also known as “industry buzzwords,” keywords refer to job titles, skills, and qualities that are naturally associated with certain professions.

When employers or recruiters are searching through employer applicant tracking systems these keywords immediately grab their attention and motivate them to seek out the applicant who used them.   

For example, if an applicant was applying for a receptionist position some keywords that would help them stand out from their competition would be “Front Desk,” “Reception Desk” and “Computer Skills.”

If an applicant were applying for a supervisory position some keywords they could use to help make their application more noticeable would be “Project Manager,” Team Leader” and “Leadership.”

In order to reach their intended niche audience, job applicants should include keywords on their resumes that reference the following topics:

  • Awards applicants have won
  • Blogs applicants write or contribute to
  • Certifications applicants have earned
  • Competitions applicants have competed in
  • Conferences applicants have attended
  • Honors applicants have achieved
  • Locations applicants have resided and working in
  • Publications applicants work has appeared in
  • Specific software applicants are familiar with
  • Unique skills applicants possess 
  • Volunteer work applicants have done
  • Websites applicants created, manage or contribute to

How can I find keywords?

If you are looking to beef up your resume with some keywords, we recommend using some of the following free keyword research tools that do not require visitors to create accounts: 

Where can I Get Help with my Resume?

Hocking College’s Career & University Center provides the following services to foster professionalism in students:

  1. Resume review services to assist students in developing and polishing their job resume.
  2. Interview strategy services to teach students how to properly conduct themselves during job interviews.
  3. Workshops designed to assist students in developing their career skills.
  4. Etiquette dinners held at Rhapsody Restaurant in Nelsonville, Ohio for the purpose of teaching students how to conduct themselves during business lunches and dinners.
  5. Conduct job fairs to introduce future graduates to potential employers.
  6. Provide business-oriented clothing to students who are going on job interviews.

For more information on Hocking College’s Career and University Center contact Director Danita Reynolds by email: glennd22689@hocking.edu or by phone at (740) 753-6445.

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