Help IT Recruiters Find You: Use Keywords in Your Resume to Grab Their Attention

50-80% of recruiters also use keyword searches on your social network sites.

Employers and recruiters, on average, may take only a minute to review a resume and make a decision as to whether to contact a prospect for an interview. Therefore, it’s essential to create a resume that makes a great first impression. To do this, you must make sure your résumé contains words that clearly and concisely express your qualifications, instead of outdated and overused generic terms and phrases.  You must explain what skills you possess by using the right keywords. Today, recruiters are using sophisticated software to aid in their search for the top talent available in the IT industry, and competition among job seekers is fierce. And they don’t stop at just your resume; in fact, 50-80% of recruiters are searching for keywords on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social-networking sites. Another point to keep in mind: If you have ever submitted your resume through an online job board or a company’s ATS (Applicant Tracking System), your resume will be electronically stored and screened by employers and recruiters who are using keyword phrase searches to specifically match for the position they are attempting to fill.  Without the correct mix of job-specific keywords, your resume may stay buried in their digital database jail cell!

How do you find those keywords that should be used to help your resume stand out from the multitude of other candidates resumes?  And even more importantly, what keywords shouldn’t you ever use?  Below are a few suggestions on how to identify and use those keywords to catch the eyes of recruiters and HR managers, as well as escaping from that digital database aggregator.

How to find the correct job-specific keywords:

  • Keywords are the “hard” skills, “industry-specific” qualifications, and “job-specific” terms employers look for in a candidate.
  • To find the perfect keywords for you, look at several employment ads with similar job titles in the IT field, and see which words are repeatedly mentioned. Make a list of those words, because they are the keywords you’ll be using in your resume.
  • Narrow down that list to around 8-10 keywords.
  • Next, include these words throughout your resume and cover letter as it makes sense, and in context, to do so.
  • Keep in mind that search engines add more weight to keywords in bold, italics, and in Title and Header tags; so you can use that formatting to rank higher on the search-engine results pages for those searches!
  • Lastly, include a “Specialties” or “Professional Summary” section in your resume, using these common and relevant keywords.

Keywords that should be avoided:

  • “Responsible for”- this only states what you did, not what you actually achieved at your position.
  • “Expert”- No one is an expert in everything or anything; you are always continually learning. By saying “expert” you may appear as someone who will be close-minded to new ideas and suggestions.
  • “Results-oriented”- meaningless when nothing is backing up the statement. If you use this, give examples of your accomplishments to mitigate this taboo phrase.
  • “MS Office Proficient”- you’re in IT; we would expect you to know this already!

Using job-specific keywords in your resume will help recruiters and employers find you easier, increasing your chances for a face-to-face interview. Once you’ve landed an interview, don’t forget to sharpen your interviewing skills.

If you’re thinking about a change in your professional career, talk to one of our IT Recruitment Professionals at CultureFit to help find that perfect fit for you.  CultureFit is a full service Technology Staffing and recruitment firm for IT professionals that value organizational fit, employee satisfaction, and an extremely high level of technical IT skills.