How to Use Phrases and Keywords In Your Resume

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When applying for jobs, you should include these words in your cover letter and resume. These words will highlight your strengths and show why you are the right person for the job. Your job descriptions will look more alive and lively if you use powerful words.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of power words or keywords and how to use them effectively.

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What Are Resume Keywords?

Keywords or powerful words can be used for many reasons. Due to the volume of resumes and cover letters they receive, hiring managers often quickly scan through them. These powerful words are a quick way to show the hiring manager that you have the qualifications and skills necessary for the job.

Resume language can be boring and repetitive. It will be difficult for you to stand out if your language is the same as everyone else.

You will be distinguished from your competition by using thoughtful, appropriate words.

When a company uses an Applicant Tracking System, powerful words (especially keywords) can be very useful. Employers can focus their attention on top candidates by using these tracking systems to screen applicants. An ATS can be used to remove resumes that do not contain certain keywords.

These words will increase your chances of getting through the ATS and being read.

Types Of Power Words

Action verbs An action verb is one type of power word. This verb shows your ability and potential to succeed. These words show the skills that you used in your previous jobs to succeed.

Action verbs can be described as “accomplished”, “designed”, “initiated” and “supervised”.

Company values To show that you are a good match for the company use key terms the company uses to describe it. This language might be found on the company’s website, “About Us”, or in the job posting. If the company is known for being “innovative”, one word you could include in your resume might be “innovate” and “innovative.”

The most popular skill words: There is a certain set of skills that every employer looks for in a job applicant. Employers are looking for employees who are responsible, passionate, and strong leaders. This is a way to show that you possess these essential skills.

Keywords: keywords are words in the job posting that refer to specific skills or other requirements. These keywords can be embedded in your cover letter or resume to show that you meet the job requirements. Keywords can be used to indicate whether they are “analyzed,” (“quantified”), “programmed”, “planned,”,” “programmed,” or “designed.”

Industry buzzwords, jargon, and terminology: Every industry has keywords. These words are important because they show that you have the hard skills necessary to use them correctly.

Employers use buzzwords in job postings; use them in your resume to highlight your skills.

To show that you are part of the industry, include the relevant buzzwords in your cover letter and resume. Common buzzwords include “experienced,” “expect,” and “skilled.”

How to Use Power Words

Power words can be used throughout your resume. This includes your job descriptions, your resume summary, and your cover letters.

Be creative with the words you use. Repeating the same word (even power words) can lead to dull reading and turn off hiring managers. Employers will appreciate the breadth of your accomplishments if you use a variety.

Editing Job Titles Is OK

It can also happen with job titles. There are many job titles that can be adapted to different industries, company cultures, and experience levels. An ATS search will be more successful if you include specific keywords and phrases in job titles.

Three examples

1.) You can change the title of your job from “Creator to Writer” in your resume to improve your searchability.

2.) If a job description requires you to have actual customer service skills then change your resume to reflect the job.

3 .) 6 years working as a web developer at a small company that didn’t distinguish experience levels. You would be called a “Senior Developer” in other situations. Make sure to update your resume with this designation as you seek other senior-level jobs.

It’s okay to change your job title on your resume. You are simply translating your past experience into the same language as a hiring company. This is the purpose of optimizing your resume keywords.

Important Note: This is not about improving your work experience, but recontextualizing it. Don’t give yourself a promotion that you didn’t deserve.

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formatting and using tenses are Important in Resume Keywords

While some ATS can recognize plurals and tenses, most only match exact matches. If a recruiter searches “project manager”, you won’t be found if your resume contains the phrases “managing project”, “project managed,” or “project management.”

Additional examples

  • Market, marketed, marketer, and marketing
  • strategize, strategized, strategist, strategizing
  • test, tested, tester, testing
  • schedule, scheduled, scheduler, scheduling

Mirroring the job description is the best way to determine which form or tense to use in your ATS resume keywords. If the job title includes “manager”, but your resume states “Managed team with 11 engineers”, simply change it so that “Manager team with 11 engineers.”

Examine job postings for the same job title

Another way to find the most effective keywords and phrases for your job title is to look at several job ads for the same job. Choose the top ten most searched keywords and phrases from at most ten other job advertisements. These will be most relevant to the job you are applying for. Simply copy and paste your ad text into a word cloud generator to rank keywords. It will show the most prominent.

For example, Consider the following qualifications taken from a job posting for a data analyst position. The applicant may look through the job description to identify keywords and phrases and mark those skills and experiences that are similar to theirs by bolding them.


Now you have tips and effective words that can be used to start bullet points or other sentences in your resume. Employers will be able to see how you have performed in the past and what you have accomplished. Always do your research, shortlist and use keywords to land your dream job. And remember, you can always seek help from us on how to create the perfect resume for your next application.

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