- Conducted cross-functional management for initial and follow-up contact.
- Coordinated marketing campaigns and special events.
- Managed customer database, product updates, and upgrades.
- Functioned in project-management role.
- Oversaw procurement, allocation, distribution control, stock levels, and cost compilation/analysis.
And what kind of nouns are sought? Those that relate to the skills and experience the employer is looking for in a candidate. More specifically, keywords can be precise “hard” skills — job-specific/profession- specific/industry-specific skills, technological terms and descriptions of technical expertise (including hardware and software in which you are proficient), job titles, certifications, names of products and services, industry buzzwords and jargon, types of degrees, names of colleges, company names, terms that tend to impress, such as “Fortune 500,” and even area codes, for narrowing down searches geographically. Awards you’ve won and names of professional organizations to which you belong can even be used as keywords.
There are actually a number of good ways to identify the keywords that an employer might be looking for in any given job search, and we list many of them, beginning later in this chapter. But the method that career experts most commonly mention is the process of scrutinizing employment ads to see what keywords are repeatedly mentioned in association with a given job title. We offer two examples of how to find keywords in want ads beginning later in this chapter.
OK, so now that we have some good ideas about how to identify keywords, how should they be used?
The prevailing wisdom for several years was that you should front-load your resume with a laundry list of keywords — a keyword summary with no context — because supposedly database search software would search no more than the first 100 words of your document. If that 100-word limitation was ever true, it doesn’t seem to be anymore, and job-seekers are now advised to use keywords throughout the resume.
It still makes some sense to front-load the resume with keywords, however, partly to ensure you get as many as possible into the document, and partly for the phase of resume review in which humans will actually screen your resume (after the initial screening by the search software) and may be attracted to keywords that appear early in the document.