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Asked by T on May 12, 2016

Is it a good idea to bold keywords on a resume to make them standout to recruiters?

Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on May 13, 2016

I think that it is fine, but do not go overboard with it.  Identify a few key words that you wish to highlight and do so in a subtle manner that does not come across as if you are shouting at the reader.  Having too many bolded words could have an opposite effect and turn off someone reviewing your resume.  Also, adjust these words for each position that you apply for.  Do your research on the company and the position to identify those handful of words that you wish to highlight.

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on May 13, 2016

While it is not common practice, I think it would be okay to bold the buzz words that the position you are applying for is requiring. I would place caution as to how many words you should bold and only select those that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Also, I suggest reviewing your descriptions of your past experiences on your resume to make sure that the descriptions accurately reflect your skills and experiences. Strong descriptions of your experiences will help your resume standout to recruiters as you apply to positions.

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on May 18, 2016

While I have personally never seen this done before, I think it is okay as long as you are very limited in the words you bold. I would only recommend bolding words that are relevant to the position you are applying to. These bolded words may change based on the jobs you apply to so it's okay to alter your resume for each position. I would personally recommend bolding no more than 2-3 words per previous work experience. Another option would be to list the most relevant experiences as the first bullet points under your previous experience to make them stand out more. Then, I don't think it is necessary to bold any words.

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Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on May 20, 2016

No. I know that doesn’t leave any room for the nuances of a specific job, applicant, or recruiter, but in general, no. A resume is a snapshot of all of your relevant experience and most, if not all, recruiters are very good at perusing a resume and being able to pick out and find what they are looking for. In addition, your resume shouldn’t be difficult to navigate and read, and if it is, it’s time for an overhaul. There will come a time when it is appropriate to highlight very specific keywords and experiences that exist on your resume, for example – during an interview or phone call, but not on your resume. Lastly, your cover letter is another place where you can draw attention to specific strengths listed on your resume, allowing you to elaborate on them and put them in context, but again, your resume should be clean looking and professional with no bolded keywords.

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Answered by Christianna, Hiring Expert at BNY Mellon, on August 18, 2017

Gaining the initial attention from a company can be difficult, which is why you should sculpt your resume toward each position and company to which you apply. Each position and company has a different mission, culture and business strategy. Taking the extra time to research a company to learn more about its goals and core values and incorporating those themes into your resume or cover letter can go a long way.
Jobipedia has an excellent tool to aid you towards resume/cover letter building, which you can utilize by accessing the ‘resume’ tab on the homepage.

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