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Utilizing Keywords to Strengthen Your Executive Resume

The process of writing an executive resume can be extensive to say the least.  There are many considerations you’ll want to keep in mind along the way in order to ensure you catch the attention of recruiters and hiring managers who read your document.

One key component of strengthening your resume is incorporating the right keywords.  There are some keywords that you could use to add great depth to your executive resume while increasing your chances of scoring an interview.

The Importance of Keywords

There was a time when keywords were not crucial to resumes.  That’s not to say that it hasn’t always been important to add carefully chosen words that showed you had an adequate knowledge of your field.  But in the past, the lack of certain keywords probably wouldn’t have stopped a candidate from being considered for a position as can be the case in the present day.

This is because many companies are using screening technology in order to make sure resumes include certain keywords.  If they don’t, the software usually will “decide” that the candidate is not qualified enough for the position and will immediately send the resume to a decline file.

The problem with this approach is that many candidates are indeed qualified but simply did not know which words to include.  That’s why it’s a great idea to take the time to explore words that will help strengthen an executive resume.

Adding Keywords for Your Industry

It’s most important when writing your executive resume that you add keywords specific to your industry.  For instance, if you are an executive chef and are applying for a new position in one of the top restaurants in your area, you might want to consider sprinkling keywords and phrases within your job target, career summary, and work history that make you more marketable.

Some keywords and phrases to consider are “strong culinary background,” “full-service,” “high-volume/high-publicity experience,” “guest-oriented,” “service-oriented,” “passion for food,” etc.  The good news is that the job postings you run across are likely to clue you in to the words you can add based upon what the companies are looking for.

Great Generic Keywords to Consider

There are also some great generic keywords to consider that can add depth to your resume.  Some that you might want to include are: “budgeting and finance,” “crisis management,” “world-class organization,” “performance optimization,” strategic planning,” “decision making,” and “profitability improvement.”

What’s important to remember about including keywords is that they need to be well balanced.  You don’t want it to appear as though you’re simply adding them as fluff words.  So take time to think about which words apply to your experience and desires for employment—then incorporate them strategically throughout your resume.

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume or visit our blog.


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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. Leveraging more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, Jessica's innovative and brand-driven resume development strategies have secured a 99.6% interview-winning success rate for her clients. As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted numerous times throughout, The Chicago Tribune,, Local Job Network Radio, International Business Times, and more.
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