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Scannable Resume Design

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Scannable Resume Keywords

Scannable resume keywords are industry-standard nouns, phrases, buzzwords, acronyms, terms and such, indicating a candidate's skill set or qualifications as they pertain to his or her current job search.

Scannable Resume Keyword Examples

Examples of scannable resume keywords for an IT worker might be:

  • C++
  • HTML
  • TCP/IP
  • LAN/WAN
  • UNIX
  • Windows

For a technical instructor, examples of scannable resume keywords might be:

  • Classroom instruction
  • Lab instruction
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Instructional design
  • Course development
  • Web-based training (WBT)

Examples of scannable resume keywords for an administrative assistant might be:

  • Typing 90 WPM
  • Dictation
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Reception
  • Phone support

For an accountant, examples of scannable resume keywords might be:

  • Tax accounting
  • Reconciliation
  • General ledger
  • Profit and loss statements

Where to Find Scannable Resume Keywords

Current and Previous Job Descriptions

In most positions, employees are given job descriptions. Using yours, pull out keywords that indicate what you do on a daily basis, so long as those tasks are still relevant to your current job search.

Resumes

Cull data from the Professional Experience and Skill sections of your current and old traditional resumes. These daily duties will provide relevant and significant keywords for your scannable resume.

Job Postings

These are perhaps the most significant resource for finding relevant keywords to include in your scannable resume. That's because employers offering the jobs will likely be searching scannable resumes for the keywords they included in their job postings. To find relevant job postings, search newspaper classified ads and job banks, such as the top job banks linked below.

How to Use Scannable Resume Keywords

You have two options:

  1. Create a keyword list for inclusion at the very beginning or end of your scannable resume.
  2. Sprinkle keywords throughout your scannable resume. This is the least obvious and most attractive way.

In either case, resist the temptation to include irrelevant keywords just to get more "hits" on your scannable resume, when employers search applicant-tracking databases. It's a trick that some job applicants have tried, but it's often failed. Attempting to deceive employers isn't likely to land jobs.

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