How to Stand Out in the Crowd

Carolyn KinardUse Keywords in Your Resume
These days in 2019, the job market is flooded with candidates. In order to stand out in a crowd, job seekers should be informed as possible about the jobs they are applying for just like a consumer who is shopping for a new car or, a new house, or new apartment. Think for a moment, just as a car buyer knows about all the vehicle options they desire, a job candidate must be able to speak the language of a company’s recruiter or hiring manager and that information should be included in your resume via keywords. Keywords simply reflect the job-related skills a company may be looking for, including technical and industry-related language. For a company, keyword search technology speeds up the hiring process and ensures the right candidates make it to the interview.

The following are a few pointers about using keywords in your resume that should bring favorable results to your job search.

Read job postings and learn the lingo.
Read the job postings carefully and highlight information, knowledge, or skills that apply to you regarding your work experience. Include that highlighted information on your resume, including any buzz words related to your industry. For example, a chef position may state that the ideal candidate understands ‘’recipe compliance,” or can follow a recipe. So, it would be good to include those exact words on your resume.

Mention ‘’soft skills” (also known as transferable skills).
Don’t forget to add soft skills such as communication, teamwork, technical literacy, project management, problem-solving, strong work ethic, and emotional intelligence. Although you will most likely never see this in a job description, emotional intelligence is a highly sought after skill that relates to your social skills, social awareness, and self-management abilities. Emotional intelligence is certainly revealed through communication with the hiring manager or recruiter, but you can hint that you have it with a strategic resume.


Tailor your resume and keywords for each job you apply for.
There are keywords for each job, and each company is different. So, your resume should be updated specifically for each company you apply for. Keep in mind that as a serious job candidate you need to show recruiters that you are not trying to spam the company with your resume. It is important that your keywords and qualifications match the jobs you are applying to. As an example, Sodexo uses the term “Environmental Service Manager” for someone who oversees cleaning and housekeeping services. At another company, the same term may mean an entirely different task. When applying for various positions, please check out O-Net Online for other related job titles or occupations that match your transferable skills or soft skills.

Adding keywords to your resume will most likely help your resume to rise to the top much quicker and your phone to ring more often. Remember: a resume is a marketing tool that informs recruiters, managers, or human resources where you’ve been and where you are trying to go next. Don’t forget that Workforce Solutions is there help you get a Job, keep a Job and get a better job! If you need further training or a certification, visit one of the local Workforce Solutions Career Offices for more information. Good luck to all readers!

Carolyn Kennard is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She conducts job search skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region. Before embarking on a career in workforce development, Carolyn achieved success in marketing and training with a major oil company. Carolyn holds a B.A. degree from Virginia State University and an M.A. degree from Prairie View A&M University.

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