How to Write a Keyword-Rich Resume and Cover Letter
Search engines today process billions of web pages at the blink of an eye. While they’re getting better at determining the quality of information on each page, their search still focuses on finding keyword-rich data, based on your search.
When companies are hiring, they usually process hundreds to thousands of resumes for each position they’re hiring for. They can’t read and process each applicant’s full story, so they also look for keyword-rich resumes and cover letters that fit the job they’re looking to fill.
So, with all this technology, and these thousands of competing candidates, how do you rise from the crowd as a candidate they should pay attention to?
Keywords, my friend. Keywords.
Step One – Find The Keywords
The top keywords for you and your job search are easy to find. You’ve probably seen them hundreds of times! Here’s how you find them:
First, find a bunch of job postings that describe your perfect job. We’ve all read job postings that seem to be written specifically for us. They call for all the skills we have, use the technical terms we’re familiar with, and do it all in an environment that we’re an expert in. That’s your perfect job posting. Find about five of those job postings from the internet, regardless of where geographically they’re located.
Then, print those perfect job postings out. Pull out your trusty highlighter, and highlight all the words in that posting that make the job perfect for you. The qualifications, the achievements, the skills, and anything else that makes that job perfect for you. Do that for all five postings and compare them. If the same term is highlighted on two or more of the job postings, you’re finding your keywords. Write them down on a list.
Voila! You have your keywords!
Step Two – Where to use your keywords
Now that you have this list of high-powered key words, it’s time to unleash them on your job search!
Your resume – Start off your keyword-rich resume with a skill summary that uses plenty of your keywords. If a particular job posting uses some unique keywords, go ahead and use that employer’s words on your resume. It will make a natural match for the job description and your resume. Also, complete your keyword-rich resume by incorporating those terms into your descriptions and experiences. It will be like speaking their native language.
Your cover letter – Are you not sure what to write about in your cover letter? Let your keywords lead the way! Pick out three good keywords mentioned in a job posting and write concise and complete bullet paragraphs around the keywords that showcase your specific qualifications for the job. You’re on your way!
Protip – Use the keywords in your LinkedIn Summary! Keywords are a natural on the internet, so use your newfound power words to create a keyword-rich summary section on your LinkedIn profile page! It’s relevant, it’s searchable, and it’s a great way to supercharge your LinkedIn profile.
Now that you’re looking for your next position, invest some time into creating a list of keywords that will show the world how great you are. When they do a search for their perfect candidate, you will be found, and your resume will stand out when it counts!