and the top keywords recruiters use to find you

Here are the top 100. Might make you think about including some of these key words in your resume if they match your background and if you are posting your resume to monster.

But you'll need to think differently if you are trying to attract recruiters via your blog, because recruiters use different keywords to search blogs.

Comments (10)

  1. Mike says:

    Huh, looks like you all have some work to do yet in positioning .Net/C# vs Java.

  2. Maurits says:

    Guess how many resumes will include ALL 100 WORDS now that this has broken. 😉

  3. The funny thing is the position #100: Entry Level 🙂

  4. Heather says:

    Um Mike, I’m sure you know that the number of searches doesn’ t correlate directly to the number of people working with a specific technology. For example, if I have a hard time finding people with a specific skillset, I’m likely to search that keyword regularly. If the candidates are abundant, I have to do less searching on the specific keyword. Anyhoo….nice try ; )

    Maurits-we are, in fact, seeing people doing more keyword dumping on their resume. I don’t want to blame though. I think job seekers are just becoming more aware of the tips and tricks to getting recognized. (Here’s a tip: if you want to keyword dump and you don’t want it to be obvious, make the font the same color as the background).

  5. Heather says:

    Adrian-isn’t that weird? I saw that too. I keep reminding myself that companies do use to hire for jobs that don’t require specific previous experience (like many retail or warehouse types of positions). But it was kind of strange to see that as a key word on there…I would never search on that!

  6. Lanie says:

    Actually, my strongest reaction to that list is that it really should reduce people’s anxiety about keyword searching and resume databases. Almost all of those are very standard, bordering on generic, job titles and skill terms. If you *are* any of those things, it’d be almost impossible to write your resume *without* using those words.

    Problem areas might include: (1) certain abbreviations or acronyms that are commonly used in their spelled-out forms, like QA for Quality Assurance, (2) job titles that have a de facto "standard," but nonetheless have frequently-used variants. "Inside Sales," for example, is often called something like "Customer Service Representative" or "Sales Service Representative."

    How would you suggest handling situations like that without sounding "contrived" or otherwise committing a keyword-stuffing sin? 😉

    What a sad commentary that "Sarbanes," of "The Sarbanes-Oxley Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act" should even appear in the vernacular. Gee, thanks fer nuthin’, Enron. :-/

  7. Heather says:

    Lanie-you are exactly right. Many of those words are standard, with some variants. I always encourage people to use their "real" title as their title on their resume because when references are checked you don’t want any confusion. If your title isn’t one of the keywords commonly searched, but is closely related, you could work the key word into the description. So let’s say your title is "TeleSales Manager" but the commonly searched term is "Inside Sales". In the description of the role, explain about your responsiblity for "inside sales".

    With the abbreviations and acronyms, I would just make sure that both are on the resume. Try to work the one that is the most searched keyword into the text as much as possible. Recruiters will generally do a search with a string like ("public relations" OR PR). So it should get picked up either way. My personal inclination is to always add the spelled out variety because resumes are a pretty formal instrument.

    I think these things will keep the resume writer from looking like too much of a key word hoarder ; )

  8. Jason says:

    A question for you, Heather:

    Is it ever acceptable to simply have a header/paragraph labled : "Relevant Keywords"? and then stuff like crazy though only with words relevant to your experience?

    I am specifically a 2004 grad with a general business degree, but concentrated heavily in marketing. Looking for something in advertising, media buying, etc.–I almost feel it would demonstrate a lack of marketing savvy not to stuff. At the same time, I feel I should be reasonably straightforward with a prospective employer. Any thoughts?

  9. HeatherLeigh says:


    If they are technical skills like C++, DOS, xml, etc., using a skills list id pretty acceptable. Otherwise, I’d say that if you can’t use the words within the text of your resume to describe your roles, then they probably shouldn’t be on your resume at all. Using a keyword dump just to get recruiters’ attention would be seen as an attempt to trick the system and would not be viewed very favorably, I think.

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