The importance of keywords in your CV

The importance of keywords in your CV

Mila Haase

Talented International

Many companies these days use Applicant Tracking Systems, also called ATS, to speed up the process of finding the perfect fit for an open job position. An ATS is software where the recruiters can write a list of all skills and requirements that are needed for the position. The software scans all the applications for requirements and the profile and then decides whether the recruiter should see the resume or not.


Because of this system many applications do not make it to the recruiter itself. Many applications get disqualified without even being read. And if you may make it through it the recruiter itself has to be convinced by just seeing your resume. It only takes recruiter some seconds to decide whether you are a potential candidate or not.



How can you avoid this problem and impress instead?


It’s simple: use keywords in your CV that will help you go through the ATS process and convince the recruiter.

Keywords in the CV are words or phrases that describe the requirements of the job.



How do you identify the most important keywords?


Step 1: Highlight all relevant keywords that you can find in the job advertisement. Scan the job advertisement for keywords. What are they looking for? What skills are needed? What are the requirements?


If you are not quite sure which of these are relevant, simply find three to five other job adverts that are similar to the one you are applying for and identify commonly used keywords. Make a list of these and consider whether you have these skills and whether you could put them on your own CV.



Step 2: Divide the keywords you have found into job-relevant skills and action verbs. Job-relevant skills are the primary skills such as your soft and hard skills and your core qualifications. Action verbs show what you have achieved and how you have been successful in previous experiences.



Step 3: Include all keywords in the correct CV section: Resume Summary, Work Experience, Skills, Education.



Step 4: Reflect on your strengths and choose the best keywords for your CV. But be careful! Not all keywords should be included. Only qualifications and achievements that are relevant to your experience.



Step 5: Finally, put everything together and your CV is ready.



How to use the keywords correctly?


Always remain honest, relevant, and accurate. Do not overdo it with the use of keywords just to have them in your CV. Only write down the required skills that you can really offer. Use keywords in the right context and reflect your actual skills. Also, do not lie! Remember that an ATS cannot detect a lie, but a recruiter can, at the latest in an interview.


Andrei Kurtuy, Use Resume Keywords to Land the Job, 11.01.2022


Talent Sales Account Manager

Talented International – Artificial Intelligence Recruiting

Barcelona – Berlin – Dublin – Paris

Phone : +33 1 84 88 97 97


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