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Erin-K-KeywordsKeywords in a resume? Who needs them? If you’re trying to land a c-level position, you need them! More than three quarters of employers rely on keywords to narrow their vast pool of applicants to choose the most promising and bring them to the interview stage.

Why Keywords Are Important in a Resume

Recruiters looking for the winning c-level resume for a specific position rely on automated resume databases to cull through hundreds and often thousands of online resume submissions collected by a firm. When a recruiter places an ad for a position opening, he or she usually includes a punch list of must-have criteria for the successful applicant.

Similarly, when sorting through resumes of applicants responding to the position, he or she will use must-have keywords. These might include the name of the city where the position is based, specific skills, required foreign languages, programming languages or educational degrees. The recruiter enters these keywords into his or her search criteria and may immediately cull 4,000 resumes down to 76. He or she will then quickly scan those 76, spending literally seconds on each one to decide if it is a “keeper.” The more must-have keywords he or she sees in that brief scan, the more likely that candidate will move to the next stage and land a phone or in-person interview.

Effective Ways to Use Keywords to Boost Your Interview Odds

You can use keywords to your advantage when you know how important they are. When you are applying for a c-level job, jot down buzz words from the punch list of “must-have” qualifications in the job posting. In addition to using these words often and as near the top of your resume a possible, use them in your cover letter. Recruiters expect a good executive resume cover letter to be concise and to the point and to spell out quickly why they should take a closer look at the resume it is introducing. Fitting in the most important keywords without appearing to “keyword stuff” your cover letter is an art. The best approach is to enlist guidance from the best resume writing service you can find to boost your chances.

Beyond creating an intriguing executive resume cover letter, it’s a good idea to create a “skills” punch list to include in your resume. Regurgitate the “must-haves” from the job listing into a “skills” section for your resume. Last but not least, use keywords naturally throughout your resume to boost the odds a recruiter’s automated system will flag you as an outstanding candidate.

Invest in Skilled Professional Help

When you’re seeking a c-level position, your c-level resume should change with each job you apply for. This can be time-consuming and a bit mind-boggling if writing isn’t your forte. Don’t risk losing out on a perfect position because your resume or cover letter wasn’t up to par. Do yourself a favor and hire a pro with a proven track record. Contact us and leave the details to us.

This guest post is by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.