- Keep running lists of keywords so that anytime you come across a word that’s not on your resume but that employers might use as a search parameter, you’ll be ready.
- If you’ve published your resume on your own Web page, keywords can boost that version, too, since employers may use search “bots” and search engines to scour the Internet for candidates that meet their criteria.
- Use keywords in your cover letters, too. Many employers don’t scan cover letters or include them in resume databases, but some do. And keywords in cover letters can be important for attracting the “human scanner.” If you’re answering an ad, tying specific words in your cover letter as closely as possible to the actual wording of the ad you’re responding to can be a huge plus. In his new book, Don’t Send a Resume, Jeffrey Fox calls the best letters written in response to want ads “Boomerang letters” because they “fly the want ad words — the copy — back to the writer of the ad.” In employing what Fox calls “a compelling sales technique,” he advises letter writers to: “Flatter the person who wrote the ad with your response letter. Echo the author’s words and intent. Your letter should be a mirror of the ad.” Fox notes that when the recipient reads such a letter, the thought process will be: “This person seems to fit the description. This person gets it.”
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