Are You Keyword Optimizing Your Resume?

How to keyword optimize their resumes

Hat tip to Pinny Cohen who wrote a very intriguing post awhile back explaining to jobseekers how to keyword optimize their resumes. As this would make my job as a Searchologist so much easier, I feel compelled to share Pinny’s most excellent work with the hope that it sparks a trend among those open to new opportunities.

Are You Keyword Optimizing Your Resume?

Here is a snippet from Pinny’s blog…

Usually when I discuss optimizing keywords I am referring to targeting search engines like Google, but what about the “niche” search engines that are mushrooming up all over? Those search engines are often used not just by consumers, but also by job recruiters (among others).

I’ll take for example a site like or Craigslist, both sites with tons of resumes posted on there. How do you get your resume seen by as many recruiters as possible?

The answer is of course, to include information that they are looking for. Just like there are ways of getting data on popular search words on Google, we can look at the most popular keyword searches by recruiters on job sites, and learn from that. Marc Cenedella, of, a recruiting site that specializes in jobs paying $100,000 or more, wondered the same thing and developed a list of the 100 most-searched for terms by recruiters on the site.

The list is useful for three reasons:

First, it tells us what the “preferable” term for what we do is. Most jobs or actions in the business world have more than one term, and sometimes that causes confusion over who has what experience. For example, a digital planner and a media planner could be doing the exact same work, but there will likely be one searched for more often. If you find out which term is better searched, you can make those changes on your bio or resume and ensure that you are located more easily.

Second, the list tells us what positions are in demand in the work force currently. We can use this information to navigate our career in a direction that is lacking manpower and therefore get more competitive offers.

Third, if and when more data is offered from sites like, we can use this information to trend certain keywords and see if they are becoming more or less popular, or if there are more or less openings than there were at a previous point in time.

The top 10 keywords recruiters search for on job sites:

1 Sales
2 controller
3 cpa
5 project manager
6 cfo
7 tax
8 Director
9 recruiter
10 Human resources

One notable thing I noticed from the top ten is that three out of them were related to finance (cpa, cfo, tax), another three for running things (controller, project manager, director) and two for getting more manpower to find the previous two (recruiter, human resources).

(Click here for the rest of the story)

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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