3 Reasons Keywords Are Crucial in Today’s Job Search

If you’ve ever wondered how resumes make it to the top of the pile, the process is often dictated by keyword-reading software. Here’s how to make the best of the automation process.

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Have you ever thought about how Google is able to give you search results related to your search word or phrase? It gives them to you with bots, called “spiders,” that crawl web pages and index them based on the keywords they contain.

Keywords have always been crucial to those trying to rank their content on the first page of Google, but what if I told you keywords are also crucial in today’s job search? Here are three reasons why.

Reason 1: Your resume is read by ATS Software before it’s read by a human
The Internet has made it easier to apply for jobs than ever before. There are dozens of job boards available to you, where you can upload your resume and apply to jobs with the click of a button. LinkedIn even has a job search app in which some jobs allow you to apply with your LinkedIn profile.

The problem is that the process has become too easy. The average corporate job opening gets 250 resumes for every opening. Rather than waste resources on the massive manpower it would take to have every resume screened by a human, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) was created.

ATS Software is essentially a keyword filter. Companies can set keywords and phrases-such as desired skills-and have the software only pass on those who qualify. Companies can also set keywords and phrases that automatically disqualify a candidate. The skills that are listed prominently in the job description are the keywords you want to focus on.

Reason 2: Keywords also optimize your resume for scanning by a human
Keywords still play an important role once your resume gets through the ATS. The people reading your resume will move on to the next one in six to eight seconds – so they aren’t reading every word. Instead, they’re scanning for the same keywords as the ATS. When a reader sees a keyword (skill), he or she will pause and read that section for specific proof that the candidate possesses said skill.

Reason 3: Keywords are the core of creating a focused career brand
Keywords are the foundation of your career brand. Making a list of three to five keywords and phrases that describe your ideal version of yourself helps you develop a clearly defined unique value proposition.

These keywords should be your most valued professional strengths and personal characteristics. These words are what make you, you, both on a personal and professional level. You may think you intuitively know these words and can call them up when asked, but you’ll be surprised at how fleeting they can be when you need them most. Make a physical list of these keywords and weave them into an elevator pitch of your most desirable skills and traits. It’ll work wonders for your job search.

There is much more to using keywords successfully in your job search than squeezing in the key skills listed in the job description. You have to have the right strategy. I’ve spent the last five years playing chess with Google’s algorithms as a web content writer, and I’ve spent the last year understanding the ATS software. If you want to learn how to further use keywords to optimize your chances of getting noticed, then all you have to do is contact me at BreakthroughJobCoach@Gmail.com to set up a free consultation.

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