Download our free Resume Ebook

Asked by Aden on December 2, 2014

I've heard companies will sometimes use computer software to conduct a quick keyword search on the resumes they've received. Is this true? If so, what are common keywords used in these types of searches? Thanks!

Answered by Heather, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on December 4, 2014

The software we use has a search function built into it. We use the keyword searching function typically for past applicants that could be interested in a current opening.
The keywords used depend on the job requirements they are looking to hire someone for. For example if it is a sales role keywords could be: sales, account, business development, representative, territory, etc.

Was this answer helpful?

Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on December 5, 2014

You are absolutely correct, and this does happen. Most keywords will be directly related to (or taken from) the actual job description, the specific industry, and the kinds of accomplishments that are involved in this type of role.

For example, for a Business Development expert, a recruiter might be looking for acronyms and phrases like B2B, cold calling, appointment setting, outside sales, hunter, KPI, metrics, quota, growth, increase, and Sales Force. They might also be looking for words like rookie, circle, club, trip, award, accolade, bonus, and commission, because these are all words related to someone who might be highly successful in this type of role already.

I would do two things, to increase your chances of being picked up in one of these searches. First off, I would review the job description and the company’s information very carefully. Print out this info, and highlight key terminology. Where applicable, blend new words into your resume, or use their terminology to replace similar phrases you are already using. Always be 100% honest, though, and never add anything to your resume that isn’t accurate. Make sure your LinkedIn page mirrors your new resume.

Secondly, I would search for people on LinkedIn that have similar roles to this one. Find the all-stars. How are they describing themselves? How do they describe their accomplishments? Try to find as many examples as you can of others who are successfully performing in this kind of position. Use this knowledge to also add depth and critical keywords to your resume. It may also spark your memory and remind you of things you have already done, or learned to do, which aren’t currently included in your info (but should be). 

Was this answer helpful?

Answered by Sonya, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on December 9, 2014

Yes, this is true. When I am looking for a specific person to fill the role that I'm recruiting for (i.e. Electrical Engineer from Rose-Hulman) I will search for graduates from Rose-Hulman that have an Electrical Engineering degree. It can be as specific as searching for a "Spring 2015 graduate from Purdue University that will be graduating with a Chemical Engineering degree with a farm background". I would suggest reading the job description for the position that you are apply for a using a few words from the job description to add to your cover letter or resume. I hope this helps. Happy Holidays!

Was this answer helpful?