How To Use Resume Keywords (With Templates And Examples)

Updated 28 August 2023

It is important to include keywords in your resume and cover letter, as these can help hiring managers notice you and potentially lead to job interviews. Hiring managers look for key talents, skills, abilities, qualifications, qualities and attributes in applicants and often select interview candidates based on these words. As a result, it is critical to understand the type and number of keywords to include in your resume, so you can attract the attention of a hiring manager. In this article, we define resume keywords, how to use resume keywords and provide some examples and templates for reference.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Related: How To Review A Resume (With Helpful Tips And Benefits)

What Are Resume Keywords?

Resume keywords are terms or short phrases in a resume that relate to specific job requirements. A hiring manager looks for these talents, skills, abilities, qualifications, qualities and attributes in an applicant. Including resume keywords in your resume and cover letter is important because these can help a hiring manager to notice you and may increase your chances of getting a job interview.

While writing a resume and cover letter, it is important to use resume keywords that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. These keywords may help the hiring manager decide whether you are a suitable match for the job and whether to call you for an interview.

Related: How To Write A Declaration In A Resume: A Complete Guide

How To Use Resume Keywords?

Here are a few tips on how to use resume keywords:

1. Be specific and use the right number of keywords

Include keywords that are as specific to the position as possible. If your keyword is very concentrated and detailed, scanning software is more likely to notice it. Try to include about 30 keywords in your resume. If there are too many keywords in a resume, the ATS may detect it as suspicious and may reject the application.

2. Use the job title and company name

It is advisable to include the job title and name of the company you are applying to in your summary statement and resume objective, which are at the top of your resume. This shows that you have customised the resume for the hiring manager. It can also help your resume show up on the ATS tool.

3. Use keywords that match the company's values

In your resume, include a few keywords that match the value proposition of the company you are applying to. The value propositions of companies can be different, and this is what distinguishes them from each other. Using keywords in your resume that relate to the company's values may offer you an advantage over other job candidates.

Related: Best Font For Resume: How To Choose Type And Size

4. Use keywords that match the company's description

It is advisable to do some research on the company you are applying to and find out how they describe themselves. This can give you some additional keywords or phrases that are important to include. The ATS and hiring manager may notice these additional keywords, which may help you secure an interview.

5. Include education-related keywords

The hiring manager and ATS tools pay significant attention to the educational qualifications that a candidate includes on their resume. Hence, it is important to include the name of your degree along with your field of study. It is also advisable to mention the name of your college or university and the year you graduated. This can help your document get past the ATS filters, allowing a hiring manager to personally view your resume.

4. Edit your job title

As job titles vary depending on experience level, industry and corporate culture, it is critical to adjust your title to reflect what the ATS would most likely be looking for. Change your job title to a more common one that matches the responsibilities you hold in that position. For example, if you are presently working as a 'content manager' but your job title was 'content supervisor', consider changing your title to 'content manager'.

5. Use as many keywords as possible

Write as many resume keywords as you can in your resume and cover letter, ensuring that they relate to the job you are applying for. Make sure that the resume keywords you use match your qualifications. After including these words, check that they are consistent throughout both the resume and cover letter.

6. Include keywords in every section of the resume

Including the resume keywords in all parts of your resume and cover letter can help a hiring manager or ATS tool find these more easily. Include relevant resume keywords in every section of your resume, including qualifications, previous job experience and skill sets. It may also be beneficial to include these keywords in your summary statement and resume objective.

Related: "Lead" Synonyms For A Resume: Importance, Examples And Tips

7. Change keywords to match the job description

There are many ways to use the same skills in different work environments. For example, an individual with experience using Illustrator, Photoshop and other products in the Adobe Creative Cloud might hold a job title such as graphic artist. But the job description may simply ask for experience in Adobe Creative Suite. In that case, make changes in your resume so that it matches the keywords in the job description, which in this case would be Adobe Creative Suite.

Resume Keyword Templates

Here are a few templates of a resume where you can incorporate keywords:

[Degree], [Major] | [Date of graduation]
[Name of school or university]

[Job title] | [Employment dates]
[Company name] | [City], [State]
[Describe your experience with a strong verb, details of what you did, your reason for doing them and the outcome or quantified results.]
[Job duty]
[Job duty]
[Job duty]

[Category]: [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]
[Category]: [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Related: How To Format And Write A Resume For University (With Tips)

Resume Keyword Examples

Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate keywords into a resume:

Experience for an illustrator

For this example, consider the job description given by the company, which mentions the requirement for a comic designer. Assuming you have experience in illustration and comic design, you can mention your job title and experiences working on comic design. Use the exact phrase that the job description gives to increase the effectiveness of your keywords. Here is an example of how you can do this:

Experience Illustrator | Jan 2019–Present
Creative Co. | Bangalore, Karnataka

  • Design comics for several fast-paced projects

  • Responsible for creating magazine and book covers for animators and novelists

Experience for a software developer

A software developer can use various technical skills in their daily work. The job description may ask for experience in a specific role, like a Python developer. You may have worked with Python directly—in which case you can mention your role as a Python developer—or have used it as part of another project. If you have used it during a project, you can mention details about this in the experience section of your resume. Here is an example of how you can do this:

Experience Software developer | Feb 2018–Jan 2019
Coding Co. | Mangalore, Karnataka

  • Worked in Python development as part of a chatbot application

  • Responsible for creating optimised code for backend services using Django and Python

Related: How To Make A Resume On Word: The Step-By-Step Guide

Skills for a data analyst

As a data analyst, you may require several skills to carry out your work duties. Recruiters also mention these requirements in the job description under the required and preferred qualifications sections. To find these keywords, you can search for the technical skills in the qualifications section of the job description. You can also mention the level of expertise you have in each of these skills.

Here is an example of how you can incorporate skills keywords in a data analyst resume:

Skills Machine learning: Python programming | R programming
Database: NoSQL | MySQL

Related Articles

Guide: How To Effectively Use Action Verbs in Your Resume

Explore more articles

  • How To Write An Objective For A Carpentry Resume (With Tips)
  • How To Write An Editorial Assistant Resume (With Example)
  • How to Write A Sales Director Resume (With Template)
  • A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing An Investigator Resume
  • How To Write An Effective Digital Marketing Cover Letter
  • 35 Sample Resume Lines (With Meaning And Some Useful Tips)
  • How To Write A Registered Nurse Resume (With Example)
  • How To Write A Cloud Computing Resume (Steps And Example)
  • Marketing Intern Job Description (Plus Duties And Skills)
  • Big Data Engineer Skills: Definition And Examples With Tips
  • How To Write A Junior Full Stack Developer Resume With Tips
  • How To Write A Marketing Manager Resume (Template And Tips)