It is common knowledge that keywords get your posts, articles and websites found online. It is NOT such common knowledge that utilizing keywords can help significantly improve resumes and drastically increase the chance that a resume will be "found."
How do keywords work to improve you resume?
The reasons are two-fold. The first reason is computers. Just like the way a computer sifts through pages to find the most "relevant" some corporations now use a computer to sift through resumes as the first step in a culling process. By simply figuring out what keywords these programs search for the applicant can ensure that their resume gets past the initial stage of the culling process by making sure these keywords are present.
Step 1: Using Keyword to Improve your Resume
The first step in using keywords to improve your resume is figuring out what keywords the companies are looking for. Every company will have certain, "buzz words" they like. Look through the job description and perhaps the main landing page of the company. Add any word or phrase that seems likely to a list of keywords.
For instance if they are looking for an "energetic leader " make sure you describe yourself as both energetic and leader in your resume. If another company is looking for a "high-octane mentor" make sure you include variations of those words. The differences may be semantic, but they could be essential in the hiring process.
Step 2: Work Keywords into the Resume
IF the company asks for specific knowledge and training, ensure that you have the dates and times of the training if you have received it, as well as mentioning this training more than one time in the body of your resume. If you gleaned the word, "resourceful" from the job description, ensure that you have mention how resourceful you are within the resume. If the process of locating these keywords is done by computer you may not get past the first stage of the screening process without these keywords being included. If the process is NOT done by a computer the inclusion of keywords may still help a "real person" skim reading, feel more favorable about the resume.
If the company asks for specific knowledge and training, ensure that you have the dates and times of the training if you have received it, as well as mentioning this training more than one time in the body of your resume.
Step 3: Do not overdo it
Just like you can get in trouble with Google for "keyword stuffing" going overboard can get you in more trouble than it can help also. Use your common sense. Make a natural resume, and simply adapt semantic uses of keywords to match the companies usage of specific words. Do not read the word leadership and decide that adding two paragraphs on your exceptional leadership abilities will help. Simply make sure your one line about leadership abilities uses the correct verbiage and is present.
Step 4: Don't lie on your resume
Resumes can sometimes be the time to "stretch" the truth. Do not succumb to the temptation to outright lie on a resume. If the job does stress the leadership ability and you have never held a position of leadership, you should not make bold and outright lies about how you lead a 20 man team at your last company. The resume lies may get you past the early stages of the application processinces, but these prevarications will only destroy any chance of landing the job in the long run. Once the prospective employers fact check they will know that you lied and have no interest in hiring you at all.
An overview of using Keywords to improve your resume
In summary, the use of keywords in a resume is of particular use to tailor a resume to a specific company. The basic idea is to take the keywords that you find used on the job description and any other information about the company that you find and make sure that the "keywords" that you find on these pages are also used within the resume. Of course, this needs to be done without any prevarication. Using these keywords on your resume greatly increases the chance that your resume will make it to human edit process and even at that point may help to make them feel that you really do "fit the job."