Researching Keywords in Employment Ads
The method that career experts most commonly suggest for identifying the keywords that an employer is likely to seek in any given job search involves scrutinizing employment ads to see what keywords are prominently or repeatedly mentioned in association with a given job title. The ads can come from anywhere — newspapers, Internet job boards, company Web sites, trade publications, or internal company job postings.
Experts say to find anywhere from three to 20 ads for the same position at various companies. Go through each one and highlight or underline the words and phrases that seem as though they could be the keywords used in the employer’s search criteria. After you’ve analyzed several ads this way, make a list of the keywords common to all ads. Those are the keywords that have the best chance of being successfully sought out by the employer’s search software.
A few ad tips from Dr. John Sullivan in his terrific article, Identifying Key Words to Put on Your Resume:
- Look for the words that appear early in an ad or job description; the first keywords mentioned are likely the most important.