What is a keyword?

and what does it have to do with me?

Do you have trouble writing your resume or your online profiles? Do you sit down and simply get overwhelmed?  There are thousands of words in English, which ones express what you do in a way that will attract the right employer?  Do you even know what employer you want to attract? 

First, what words and synonyms are used for your skills and expertise?  These are your “keywords”.  Since the internet and Google have been indexing the world in terms of keywords, we have all had to learn how to use them.  When you type “Divergence” into the Google search bar, you will get only those pages that have to do with Divergence and the top ones will be about the new movie.  Divergence has become a keyword.  But this is also true of “jobs AND (HR OR “Human Resources”)” – the Boolean string for looking for HR jobs. 



Knowing what your keywords are means that you will not waste your time looking at jobs that don’t use your skills and expertise.  Knowing what the synonyms for each one means that you won’t miss any. 

These are the words you need to use in your online profiles (LinkedIn, G+, etc.) and in your resumes and cover letters.  You may also need to use them in your follow up emails and thank you notes.  Of course, you need to use them in good, clear, well-thought out English sentences that demonstrate that you know what they mean and that you are well familiar with their usage and context.  You will use them in your PAR statements and when you talk with people in your career network.  But you probably will NOT use them when you talk with people who are not in your industry as they can sound like Geek or jargon. 

Can you list your top ten keywords?


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