Improve Your Likelihood of Success – Keyword Search Matters

You read the job description and you think you are a perfect fit for the job.  You submit your resume and cover letter but you never receive a response.  How can someone miss your strong background for this position?  These days, it could well be that a person never had an opportunity to see your letter and resume because a computer eliminated you from consideration.  How can this happen?

Many companies rely on scanning software to manage and prioritize the thousands of resumes they receive for open positions.  The scanning software is programmed to search for key words.  If your resume and cover letter do not contain key words from the job posting, a human will never have the opportunity to see your application.  To increase the likelihood of making it successfully through the screening process, ensure that your resume and cover letter contain key words from the job posting.

What can a job seeker do to increase the likelihood of success

  • Look carefully at the skills and experience they are seeking for the position and use the appropriate and relevant key words that fit your expertise.
  • Pay close attention to how they describe the position and identify critical words you want to include in your resume and cover letter.
  • Review the job description with a highlighter and identify critical key words.  Review your cover letter and resume to identify appropriate places to use the key words highlighted.
  • Use different key words in your letter and resume to increase your hit rate.

Don’t let the computer screen you out before you have an opportunity to demonstrate your qualifications for the job.  Paying attention to key words up front increases the likelihood that a human being will review your application and move you forward in the process.


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