Keywords Really Do Matter in Your Job Search

John Krautzel
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It's always important to spend ample time during your job search crafting a professional cover letter and resume, but it's just as important to spend time on choosing keywords that help guide employers directly to you. Use these four tips to help you craft your social media profiles and professional website information with the right industry-specific keywords.

1. Use Current Terminology

When employers look for qualified candidates, they typically search keywords that are directly related to the industry or the position. When crafting your LinkedIn biography or your professional social media profiles during your job search, use terminology that is current within your industry. If your former position references industry terms that are out of date, use a new term. For example, if you were a Help Desk representative in a previous position, use the term "technical support specialist" as your job title when referring to this job. It is more likely that employers and recruiters are searching the buzz words when online, and when you use current terminology, the chances of your professional profiles popping up in the search increases.

2. Include Full Application Names

During a job search, it is common for applicants to list their job skills and proficiency with specific hardware and software on their professional websites and profiles. Choosing keywords that include the full name of the programs is the best strategy for attracting inquiries from employers. For example, when listing programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator, include the full name, such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, in case professionals are using these keywords to find applicants.

3. Complete Web Analysis

Utilize websites that offer suggestions for keywords during your job search. Many databases produce analytics on the most popular keywords in searches related to your industry. Take note of these words, and naturally filter them into your online profiles. When employers and recruiters are able to locate you with a simple Google search based on the keywords used, you save time during your job search and bring job leads directly to your inbox.

4. Be Honest and Accurate

It can be tempting to exaggerate on your resume, cover letter or online profiles when attempting to attract attention with keywords; however, using keywords that do not fully detail your skills and experience can backfire on you. Even though a keyword may be popular within your industry, resist the temptation to slip it into your bio, because you may be asked to perform tasks related to this skill on the job.

Modern technology drastically changed the nature of finding employment, as online applicant tracking systems are a staple, and employers are likely to search through your social media profiles. You can fully articulate your skills and use technology to your advantage by incorporating appropriate keywords into your application materials and online profiles. Use relevant keywords in all of your professional content to increase the number of job leads you receive during your job search.

Photo Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


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