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Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.

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Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

3 Tips For Using Strategic Keywords In A Resume And LinkedIn Profile

Kent Nolen

It is well known that using keywords in your resume and LinkedIn profile is a smart idea.  But how you use keywords is almost more important than using them at all.  Here are some tips for ways to include strategic keywords without making your resume and profile look like SEO spam. Key Skills:  A section on your resume highlighting key skills/competencies is a great way to inject some strategic keywords.  I recommend this section be no more than eight keywords – any more and you send the message that you are simply trying to game the resume screening software.  The beauty of this section is that it quickly communicates your attributes, and it can (and should) be targeted toward each specific position.

LinkedIn Specialties:  This section of the LinkedIn profile is no secret.  Many LinkedIn users take full advantage of it.  Many also fill this section with so many keywords that it overwhelms the profile.  Challenge yourself to keep this section to just a handful of keywords, and remember that these need to endure.  Unlike the resume, you will not be targeting these toward specific opportunities, so make sure you are including keywords that are at the intersection where your strongest skills meet the terms potential employers will be searching.

Achievements:  There is nothing more important to include on a resume than specific, quantifiable accomplishments.  These alone will make you stand out from the crowd.  But well written accomplishments are also a great way to inject keywords.  Take the following powerful bullet point as an example:

  • Delivered Visual Basic tools for Windows Phone development, enabling millions of developers to leverage Microsoft’s new platform.  Increased mobile app development 495% in just one month.

These are just three possible ways to use keywords strategically on your resume and LinkedIn profile.  Whatever you do, it is important to remember that your profile needs to be searchable and your resume needs to play well with automated resume screening systems.  But at the end of the day, everything needs to make sense for human readers.  A strategic approach to using keywords will make sure your resume and profile hold-up throughout the entire process.

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