Main image of article Keywords Are a Foundation of Your Job Search

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Keywords are important because recruiters search resumes for matches when sourcing candidates from databases loaded with job-seeker profiles. The more frequently your resume matches the keywords contained in a recruiter’s search, the more calls you’ll get. But they're important to use in places beyond your resume. You should carry the concept throughout all of your job search activities by using them in your elevator pitch and during networking conversations and interviews.

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Keywords refer to hard skills that are used in job descriptions, not soft skills. For example, "HTML programmer," "database architect," "network engineer" and "help desk operations." They don’t include phrases like "team player," "relationship expert" or "multi-tasker." To build a list, start by reviewing the job descriptions for positions you want, extracting the keywords you see most often. Then use them to tweak your resume each time you submit it, making sure to include them in your cover letter, as well. To validate their effectiveness, enter your keyword choices into the job search function on Dice, using a variety of search parameters. Seeing more results indicates your resume will come up more often in database searches conducted by recruiters.

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