How to use a highlighter pen

highlighterFor your job search

More and more companies, recruiters and savvy job seekers are using keywords to be a net in the ocean of data on the internet.  Where do you get these keywords? 

The best way to identify your particular keywords is to look in your resume, your CV, your performance reviews and in job postings that are right for you in detail but not in location.  You can either print them out and use a highlighter pen to mark all the important words or cut and paste the text into These are the non-fluff words, like protein, expression, purification. Try out the site by going to and putting in your next job title and a location that you are sure you DON’T want (for this exercise).  Copy and paste to the site and see what comes up. Put your resume and then your LinkedIn Profile into the site.  The top ten most common words will come up.

Are these your preferred keywords? 

Are they the same as the ones in the job posting you have reviewed?  Why or why not?  Remember that job postings can be as well or poorly written as your LI profile or resume. 

If you don’t have at least 85% of the keywords in a job posting, think very hard about submitting your resume for that job.  Is it because your resume needs work or because the job posting does not include obviously needed skills?   

Remember that companies hire to solve a problem. 

Technical or scientific jobs will use technical and scientific terms.  Yes, soft skills like “adaptable” or “crisis management” are needed but are overused and don’t show the candidate what the job is actually about or the recruiter what the candidate has actually done.  Try not to use them, at least in your resume.  Make these earn their place in your public profiles and resumes.

Once you have your list of “hard” skills, you can craft sentences in your profiles, resumes and cover letters that speak directly to the job you want to do. Why Dragon-Slaying Stories? This will allow recruiters (both in-house and third-party) to connect with you the most likely candidate and you to not waste time applying for jobs that you are not qualified for. 

Remember that “a job, any job” does not exist. 

Companies don’t have “any job” available.  They have very specific ones which need very specific skills as identified by very specific keywords.  What are yours?

Are You Still Leaving Your Bioscience Job Search Up To Chance?