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What Important Keywords Should Be On My Resume?

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

A resume is your first ever interaction with your future employers. As such, you need to grab their attention right from the get go.

A Forbes study reveals that recruiters take a look at your resume for 6.25 seconds to decide if you're fit for the job opening. Similarly, some hiring managers spend 30 seconds to two minutes scanning a resume before deciding. Either way, this is very short time if you want to impress someone with just a piece of paper.

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A workaround to get the most out of this time is to pack the right keywords in the resume to showcase your career experience. Hiring managers will want to see what you've accomplished and what knowledge you bring to their company. In general, praising yourself by using boisterous adjectives will most likely get your resume binned, whereas using action words and succinctly explaining what you've done is most likely going to score you a call. Instead of stating that you are highly motivated, show that you've done project X and Y during your stay at the company and what were the positive results.

Applicant Tracking System:

Since medium to larger size companies tend to receive a huge number of applications for a certain position, they use a system to filter applicants. This system helps them find the best applicants out of the competition.

The Applicant Tracking System filters resumes using keywords. Therefore, in order to get your resume in the final list of prospective hires, your resume needs to be packed with the right keywords. By reading the job description, you get a feel of the job and the keywords you need to get the attention of both the hiring manager and the system. This is why it is important that your resume is Search Engine Optimized!

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Obvious keywords:

Most applicants assume that hiring managers already know the job responsibilities of the open position. This is extremely obvious. However, applicants miss out to the opportunities when they forget to spell out the obvious. By clearly enumerating your skills and your experience, the recruitment team gets a more vivid look into your career and expertise.

Applicant Tracking Systems also need these terms spelled out so that the system can include your resume in the search results. This is important so that your application doesn't get lost through the filter. Bottom-line: leave in the words that you think are too obvious to be in your resume.


While labelling your resume sections is a nice practice, it is also important to put your keywords into context. When you just label your resume with all the right keywords, you'd be seen as just stuffing keywords into your resume. The employer will get a sense that you're not competent enough.

On the other hand, by putting your keywords in the job responsibility and within context, you stand a higher chance of being called in for that job interview.

According to a study by Forbes, these are the top words that hiring managers want to see:

1. Achieved

2. Improved

3. Trained/mentored

4. Managed

5. Created

6. Resolved

7. Volunteered

8. Influenced

9. Increased/decreased

10. Ideas

11. Negotiated

12. Launched

13. Revenue/profits

14. Under budget

15. Won

By hiring a Certified Professional Resume Writing company, you increase your odds at receiving an impressive resume that details all of your careers experience. Resume Writers understand what important keywords should and should not be included. Remember, your resume should not be like everyone else's resume. You need to show your unique background to employers. Seek resume help but from the best-of-the-best resume writing service. Don’t just have a subpar resume like your competition.

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