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Seattle, WA 98116

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


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.


Kent Nolen

The use of keywords is a hot topic in the world of resume writing and job-searching. Previously I wrote:

Most people have heard about the importance of keywords.  Unfortunately, most don’t know the ins and outs of why they are important. Bottom line – you want to get your resume noticed, right?! In this day and age, computerized resume screening software is what is used to “flag” resumes for human screeners. That being the case, your resume won’t get noticed – or possibly even seen – unless it employs a keyword-centric approach that is laser focused on each specific requisition you respond to.

Lately, working with a corporate client on an HR consulting project, I noticed a sharp rise in resumes with exhaustive lists of keywords (often under a heading titled "Keywords"). It's as if these job seekers have decided to go the route of SEO spam in the interest of marketing themselves. This is a mistake.

Keywords are important. As mentioned above, they help computer screeners to "find" you. Additionally, though, they are helpful in terms of human screeners. Your use of keywords needs to respect those human screeners as well. Doing a good job of injecting keywords into your resume, means doing so subtly - in a way that helps to bolster the already strong content of an effective resume. A solid resume will in no way appear as though you are attempting to cram keywords (or dishonest attributes) down the throats of readers.

They should be a reflection of your true strengths and skills, and they should be targeted for each position you apply for.

The smart use of keywords is a gift. Don't turn this gift into a curse!