As a job seeker, you want your resume to stand out from the rest. Including the proper keywords in your resume will help. It is just as important as using a visually appealing format, proper grammar and spelling, and including clear, concise details. Utilize these three resources when looking for the best keywords to include in your resume.

Review the Job Posting

A “Professional Profile” section is typically included at the top of a resume. This section is a brief overview of your experience as a whole and tells employers what you have to offer and how your experience qualifies you for the position. Utilize terms and skills that are familiar to all individuals within the industry and type of position you are looking to obtain. This is the opportunity to make your resume stand out from the first line and throughout.

While some postings may be similar in context, every organization utilizes slightly different terminology. For example, your previous employer may have used the term “customer contact center” while the position you are applying for uses “call center”. While both terms mean the same thing, including the term “call center” instead “customer contact center” in your resume shows that you have thoroughly reviewed the job posting and will easily catch the screener’s eye.

Education, training and certifications are always important to include. Some positions require degrees or certifications. Employers also want to know that you have taken the opportunity to maintain or further your knowledge related to the position and industry through training courses.

Including technical terms that relate to skills or programs that the employer utilizes is another way to embrace keywords. While you may have a long list of skills from various positions, you want to highlight the skills that are included in the posting and relate directly to the job you are applying for. Employers want to know that you are familiar with their programs and methods that are essential for the job function.

Utilize the Company’s Website

Commonly used industry terms should also be applied to your resume. Reviewing the company’s website will give you a better idea of terms and phrases that represent the industry. A specific page on the company’s website that can also be beneficial to utilize is the “About Us” page. This page will give you descriptive words and phrases that they use to describe their employees such as “highly trained professionals” or “dedicated employees”. These terms can be added to the “Professional Profile” section of your resume.

Search Similar Job Postings

Conduct searches on the internet for job descriptions similar to the position you are applying for. You will notice common keywords in the job descriptions of your search results. These can also be used in your resume. Employers often search resumes for similar titles that are related to the open position to secure candidates with the relevant experience and skills. Relevant titles are better to use than unique or a less commonly known terms. Use terms that employers will understand. For example, the term “Director of First Impressions” in place of “Receptionist” can be confusing. While it may seem like a creative way to title your previous position, it creates a negative impression. You want to ensure that your resume is searchable as well as show employers that you are serious about their opening.


The more keywords in your resume that match the requirements, the greater the chance your resume will be thoroughly reviewed and considered. Keep in mind that while keywords are important, you don’t want to overuse them. Your resume should flow and transition smoothly. Presentation always counts in making a good first impression.