Why you need Keywords in your CV and LinkedIn Profile

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The Importance of Keywords in your CV and LinkedIn Profile

Your CV is a sales tool designed to get you an interview.

It must have a compelling Personal profile, evidence your ability to deliver and it must match the requirements of the opportunity for which you are applying.  Amongst other things.  I have written in detail in other Blogs about these matters and more. I recommend you check them out.  :-)

It is also critical that your CV and LinkedIn profile contain the right keywords.  Let me explain.

What is a Keyword?

A Keyword is simply a word that a recruiter or hiring manager might associate with the skills and responsibilities of the person they are seeking to recruit. 

Why is this important?

Because they will use these keywords to discover you as a potential candidate for their opportunity.

How do Recruiters use Keywords?

They'll use them in Search engines just as we all do when searching for anything.  They'll use them to interrogate databases and in the Search box on LinkedIn, they will also use them to scour Job Boards like CV Library or Totaljobs. They are also used every day in Candidate Management and Recruitment Software Systems.

What is a Candidate Management System?

Many Companies and recruitment agencies use automated systems to shortlist candidates.  When that recruiter rings you and says:  "Hi, I saw your LinkedIn profile and was impressed", it will in most cases have been a software package running a keyword search that will have made the initial identification.  It is true to say that the first contact most CVs have with a recruiter or hiring manager is now automated. An Agency will use software that will extract Keywords from a client's Job Order.  That same software will then scan their existing database of CVs, online CV Libraries and the whole of LinkedIn for matching keywords, and will then shortlist the profiles/CVs of the candidates whose profiles have the highest hit rate of keywords.

 What keywords should I put in my CV/LinkedIn Profile?

Use the words that are most often associated with your discipline or profession or the words that you would use to personally search for your next job.  Look at advertisements for the jobs that you like and make a note of the keywords that come up time and again.  When you receive a Job Description it will be full of keywords relevant to that role; make a note of them.

Can you give me an example?

So, if I was hiring an Accounts Assistant the job title is itself a "keyword" or search term.  Make sure that the term Accounts Assistant is in your CV if that is the job you seek.  Qualified, Part-Qualified, whatever is relevant - these might be keywords.  Qualified AAT or ACCA?  They are keywords. If you are a graphic designer specialising in posters, well poster is a keyword. If you use Photoshop, there's another. You get the drift, I'm sure. 

How do I incorporate keywords into my CV?

People have been known to add lists of keywords to their CV, keyword packing it's called.  LinkedIn used to have a "Specialties" section within the Summary which was often used for this purpose.  However packing keywords is bad practice.  Better to incorporate them naturally within your CV; the Key Skills and Achievements section is ideal for this purpose.

Your CV and LinkedIn Profiles are living documents, so make sure that you experiment with the keywords you use and keep up to date with industry trends.

In any case, by following this advice you will dramatically improve your chances of being identified for that dream job.

If you would like me to check your existing CV, just click on the button for a FREE CV Review, or drop me a line at nick@theprofessionalcvwriter.com

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