The importance of keywords on your CV

Michelle Ahern 08.04.2014

What can we do to make sure that once we click send and our CV is sent out into the virtual world that it is searchable and does not get lost into the CV abyss?

Ans often overlooked traick is the use of “keywords” on your CV.

Most of us just produce a CV with what we think is all the information necessary to get us the recognition we think we deserve. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “are we really writing our CVs in the smartest way possible?”

Most of the time HR professionals, hiring managers and recruiters search for candidates using social media sourcing or using internal databases, therefore making sure your CV consists of searchable terms that directly correspond to the sector, job or company that you are targeting is imperative. Using cliché words and phrases on your CV may not attract the right attention and be the reason why your CV may not make it to the top tier,

Buzzwords and acronyms that best describe you personally and professionally

Using words that will grab attention increases your chance of getting hired by 80%. It is important that you really think about your ideal role, research a few job descriptions online and observe common terminology trends and make sure that you have these on your CV. Look at other professionals in your field and see what keywords they are using. These relevant keywords may just make all the difference.

Tailor your CV to the position you are applying for

A generic CV is not sufficient to cover all roles that you may apply for. It is important to tweak your CV for each role that you apply for to ensure that you selectively word your CV according to what the company is looking for. Each job specification is different and asks for different skills, so don’t just rely on the job title and assume you know what they are looking for. Create a targeted CV that has purpose!

Company profile or website

It is important to research the company you are applying for and understand their values, objectives and what type of culture they incorporate. This is where you can also tie your professional objectives and values in with theirs so that it makes your CV keywords more enticing for them. Win them over early.

Previous experiences and technical skills

To outline your technical competencies using keywords is a vital component to ensure that your CV is searchable. Many searches involve Boolean searching, using keywords directly related to the skills required. Pay attention to the use of, and where possible use the full word, with the abbreviations in brackets after the word e.g. Project Manager (PM).

The following headings can all be used as part of your CV format that will give you ample opportunity to get those KEY words on your CV

  • Introduction
  • Summary
  • Key Skills
  • Personal Profile
  • Career History
  • Professional Experience
  • Educational Qualifications
Michelle Ahern's picture
National Team Lead | Science
mahern@morganmckinley.ie