Resume buzzwords or keywords - What buzz words should you use in your resume?
When the best jobs are advertised and attract huge numbers of applicants, it's very likely that some of the best will have similar work experience and skill sets.
This is particularly the case with jobs in the IT sector, where similar levels of technical experience and knowledge can be common to many people.
Yet, in many instances, the employers or recruiters will ask one applicant to come to an interview and not another. Why? Just what makes one resume stand out above another?
Resume buzzwords or keywords make you stand out!
Frequently, it comes down to the language and words you use in your resume to describe your experience. We all know that the resume aims to highlight your transferable skills and expertise, while outlining your work experiences and accomplishments. But its functions include more than this: besides saying what you can do, the resume must give the employer a sense of the kind of person you are. Would the employer wish to involve you in their organization? Would you contribute to the team spirit, or be a popular manager as well as an effective one? Can you rise to a challenge? Do you suit the organization's 'culture'? These are the kind of questions that might be in an employer's mind. Therefore, they're the ones you must seek to address through your resume.
With each point you write in your resume, from the Profile and Achievements to the Experience, you need to ask yourself, "What does this say about me?" Each point must sell you in some way, so always mention your strengths. Always make positive statements and include adjectives and adverbs that will strengthen them. It's the way in which you do this, and the words that you include, that can make the difference between getting asked for interview or being overlooked. So you need to ensure that you use resume buzzwords or keywords that will create the right buzz about your resume.
Create a buzz, just by using the right keywords in your resume
Look at this statement, which can be used as a resume's Profile. "Senior Manager with 10 years experience in marketing, customer service and administrative management, seeking an executive marketing position in the manufacturing sector." This statement is very clear. It states the applicant's background and says exactly which sector they would like to be employed in. Yet now read the following statement: "Dynamic Senior Manager with 10 years' solid experience in marketing and customer service, combined with strong administrative management skills, aims to respond to new challenges and contribute to effective marketing in the manufacturing sector."
If these statements were from two different resumes, which person would you prefer to meet? It would most probably be the second. This is because the second statement makes far more use of powerful adjectives ("solid") and verbs ("contribute"). These resume buzzwords suggest that the applicant wasn't simply a passive member of an organization, but that they were personally active and instrumental in achieving results. So, as you can see, in the second statement the focus is on the personal qualities as well as the career details, rather than on the work experience alone.
Use active resume buzzwords or keywords to create impact
When writing up your Achievements and Career History, be sure to use active vocabulary, but without going over the top. The golden rule is to always make it sound like you made things happen, rather than having had them happen around you. This means starting as many points as possible with an active verb. For instance, write "developed role" rather than "given new responsibilities", and "scheduled work of eight people" rather than "organized rotas".
Strong adverbs will enliven your achievements, as the following examples show. "Met clients' business needs" is more effective when written as "Consistently met clients' business needs". "Negotiated a major contract" becomes more powerful when presented as "Successfully negotiated a major contract".
Above all, avoid being vague. If you start your points with words like "contributed", "assisted" and "supported", the recruiter will be wondering how much or - more pertinently - how little you did. Either explain what exactly it was that you did, or better still, insert an active adverb and then explain. For example, "Effectively contributed to …", "Diligently assisted with …", and "Consistently supported".
If you're not sure about which buzzwords to use, take a look at the job description and see what the employers are asking for. You can also look at some resumes and resumes on the Internet for ideas.
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