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Best and Worst Resume Keywords

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 2:57
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From the Personal Branding Blog

13903383190_5920c870e1Recruiters do not always look for candidates for a single position. They generally try to hire for several positions at the same. Therefore, they may not always know the details of every position as much as the hiring manager does. Instead, they only know the basics and use certain keywords to look for candidates. As a result, your resume should be optimized and include the right keywords to be visible on search engines and career websites.

There are different keywords for every type of position. For example, if you are a web developer, you can list the programming languages you know as keywords or if you are an accountant, you can list your professional certifications as keywords. However, there are also general keywords which everyone uses on their resume. According to recruiters and hiring managers, some of these key words are actually a turn off for them. Thus, you should be careful about what you put on your resume and think twice before each sentence.

The below keywords that are in the worst section are overly used and they are vague terms according to hiring managers. Therefore, avoid using them on your resume. Recruiters and hiring managers generally prefer strong action verbs which yield to specific results. You can see these words below in the best section.

Worst Best
Best of breed Achieved
Go getter Improved
Think outside of the box Trained/mentored
Synergy Managed
Go-to-person Created
Thought leadership Resolved
Value add Volunteered
Results driven Influenced
Team player Increased/decreased
Bottom line Ideas
Hard worker Negotiated
Strategic thinker Launched
Dynamic Revenue/profits
Self-motivate Under budget
Detail-oriented Won
Track record

Notice that most of the words in the best section are verbs, so you can come to a conclusion that recruiters do not want to know about your character and instead, they want to know about what you did so far in your previous jobs. Recruiters scan your resume at most two minutes before deciding you to call for an interview. For this reason, you should be as specific about your accomplishments as possible.

Now, it is your turn to go through your resume and transform it into a powerful one which recruiters will keep looking for an entire two minutes and think that you are a great fit for the job. In order to get ahead of the competition, increase your visibility and improve your personal brand, you should definitely use the right keywords on resume.


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