Choosing the Right Keywords
The right professional keywords for your job depend on the industry, the company and the open position. Start your search with the job description. Highlight words that are used multiple times, and look for words that describe the most important responsibilities. Look for phrases like “required” or “strongly prefer,” and note the skills or experiences that follow; these phrases are likely to describe the employer’s priorities. Continue your keyword search with other job descriptions from the same industry, looking for words and phrases that appear in multiple postings. If your target employer has an active social media presence, look out for words that describe the company’s culture and values, and add them to your list of job search keywords.
Adding Keywords to Your Resume and Cover Letter
The way you add professional keywords to your resume, cover letter and job application varies by company. If you’re applying to a large corporation, it’s safe to assume that the company uses hiring software to narrow down the candidate pool. In that case, seed your application materials with the professional keywords you pulled from the job description. Pay special attention to the education, required experience and required skills; if you can make it work naturally, add keywords from the rest of the list. If you’re applying to a small company,customize your resume and cover letter with a mix of job-specific, industry and social media keywords. No matter which method you use, ensure that the keywords fit into the text organically.
Optimizing Your Internet Presence
The further along you move in the hiring process, the more likely it is that an employer will run an Internet search for your name. Use your professional keywords to optimize your Internet presence and help the employer find you. Edit your LinkedIn profile to include the most important keywords, and upload your most recent resume. If you have a professional website or a blog, use the keywords in the meta content, headers and image names to improve search engine optimization. Do the same for public social media content, but aim for a more natural usage. There’s no need to start posting professional Facebook statuses; instead, update your Twitter profile to include your industry or job title.
With a small amount of legwork, you can identify the professional keywords that are most important to your target employers. Using these keywords judiciously can help you position yourself as an ideal candidate and make an instant connection with an employer.
Source: John Krautzel (Beyond)