Top 20 Keywords for Your Job Search


The internet has revolutionized the way people obtain jobs. Many companies even flatly refuse in-person resume drops and require individuals to apply online. Although many positions are secured through networking, leveraging social media and digital resumes will at the very least help put you on the radar of individuals you may want to network with.

Based on Huffington Post's list, you'll find the top 20 keywords for your job search below. This applies to online profiles, as well as any resumes you turn in.

1. Your professional name. Using a specific version of your name in professional spaces, and using it consistently, can seriously help your visibility. It's much easier to type in one name to discover every professional aspect of an individual rather than search multiple variations.

Related: Does your resume pass the 6-second test? Get a FREE assessment.

2. Your target job title. Including the job title you want, not just the one you have, isn't a trick: There are many professionals who identify upcoming talent and foster it. Even if you don't get a direct helping hand, letting recruiters know your goals will help them build an accurate, appealing professional profile of you as a candidate.

3. Current and previous job titles. Knowing what you currently do and what you have done is very important to recruiters. Don't feel the need to use the exact title given to you. If your company called you a customer service czar, consider replacing czar with manager, or another commonly used word that may be more appropriate and identifiable.

4. Your current or target city, state and zip code. Ensuring that employers know where you are will help you stand out to companies located close to you. By that same token, including your desired place of residence will alert employers as to where you'd like to be, which may signify initiative and focus.

5. Your current target region's name. More colloquial terms for regions can help boost your visibility. For example, rather than just writing Oakland, consider including the Bay Area, etc.

6. Your skills. Many companies place emphasis on what skill-related keywords show up in your profiles and resumes. Don't just write what's relevant to your current job; make sure you advertise what skills you have that relate to the job you want.

Related: To apply for jobs that match your skills, visit the Military Skills Translator.

7. Job-specific, profession-specific and industry-specific tools and techniques. It's important to display that you know industry terms. Using jargon will help alert employers that you know what they need you to, and also ensures that you won't slip through the keyword net.

Related articles:

8. Software relevant to your job or industry. Aside from ubiquitous office programs, identify unique programs that relate to your career and with which you have experience.

9. Hardware relevant to your job or profession. If it's a piece of technology that you need for your job, include it in your profile. This doesn't mean you should call yourself a stapler expert, but if you know your way around a heart monitor, include that information.

10. Internet tools and apps relevant to your job or profession. The names of many websites related to specific industries are just as good at signaling your expertise as the hardware and software you use.

11. Awards and recognition. Whatever the award may be, include it in your profile. Stacking up accomplishments will help show off what makes you an exceptional candidate for a job; employers usually want individuals who won't just do the job well, but will excel in and master it.

12. Relevant industry and professional organizations. If they relate to your profession, include any groups and organizations you're a part of besides the company that employs you. Not only do keyword engines pick them up, but they tell employers that you're an active participant in the greater community, and not just someone filling a desk chair.

13. Professional and technical acronyms. While it's not good etiquette to dump eclectic terms on your friends and colleagues, you should definitely do it in your resume and online profiles. If it's something other industry professionals recognize, show off your knowledge.

14. Certifications, licenses and other credentials. If you have a credential or a certificate in something, mark it down. While some may be somewhat frivolous, others might be necessary to even qualify for the position you're applying for.

15. Categories of employers. Include descriptions of the types of employers you've had, such as "national specialty retailer" or "general medical."

16. Applicable education. If you have an education that relates to the job you want, make sure to include it. This includes degrees, specific classes and even on-the-job training.

17. Your publications. If you've published work relating to your career, put it in. Writing that's edited, polished, and published will show off your depth of knowledge.

18. Websites and media. Don't limit yourself to print media: if an online company has published your work, it's valid as an accomplishment.

19. Trade shows and conferences. Attending trade shows and conferences will show off your interest and knowledge regarding a given industry. This will look even better if you've been a speaker or featured published work.

20. Other jargon. If you can think of any slang, jargon or other terms that haven't been covered by this umbrella, put them in. Talking about a profession using insider terms is one of the easiest, and most keyword search friendly, methods of elevating your status.

Related: For the latest veteran jobs postings around the country, visit the Job Search section.

The Next Step: Get Your Resume Out There

Get your resume seen by companies that are seeking veterans like you. Post your resume with

Story Continues