Resume Prep Part 1: Using ATS Keywords to Stand Out

Resume Prep Part 1: Using ATS Keywords to Stand Out

Many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to sort resumes from candidates. This helps the employers narrow down the list of candidates to contact for interviews.

Keywords are specific words or phrases that employers identify as requirements for a role. Including these words or phrases on your resume can help your information get past an ATS. Use of the keywords or phrases shows you are a top candidate who has the right education, skills, and experience for the position.

Follow these guidelines to include ATS keywords on your resume and increase the odds of being contacted for an interview.

Use Keywords from the Job Description

Look for the keywords included in the job description. They may include educational requirements, job duties and responsibilities, and preferred qualifications. These are the keywords you want to include in your resume.

Include Job-Specific Keywords 

Be sure to add the company name and job title to your summary statement or career objective section. Also, mention your education, certifications, or licenses that are relevant to the role you want. Additionally, list your hard skills that apply to the position.

Add Industry Keywords

Include throughout your resume keywords that are specific to your industry. You may want to conduct a Google search for “[industry] resume keywords.” Focus on the keywords that were not included in the job description but reflect your relevant experience. These are the keywords you want to use.

Determine the Proper Locations for the Keywords

The most important sections to include the keywords in are your summary statement and education, experience, and skills sections. You may want to begin by focusing on the keywords that match your greatest strengths and highest level of experience in your summary statement or career objective. Next, include relevant information about your education. This may include the type of degree you have and your specific areas of study. Then, include job-specific keywords from the duties and responsibilities of the job description in your experience section. Finally, include in your skills section your hard and soft skills relevant to the role and industry.

Ensure Your Resume Is Readable

A hiring manager must be able to read and understand your resume. Although the use of keywords is important, your resume also must clearly show that you are well-equipped to take on the role. This encourages the manager to set up an interview with you.

Want Additional Help with Your Resume? 

Working with a recruiter from Peoplelink Staffing Solutions provides you with additional tips to improve your resume and other parts of the hiring process. Register with us today.