How to find keywords for your CV

CV keywords

Finding and using the right keywords in your CV could make all the difference. With so many other applications landing on the HR manager’s desk, it’s easy to see how difficult it is to get an interview.

Using the relevant technical jargon and matching the keywords to the role will put you in the driving seat. But where do you find them?

Here’s how to find keywords for your CV and get ahead of the competition:

Use the job advert

The job advert is one of the best places to find most of the keywords you’ll ever need for your CV.

“You’ll find all of the skills, both hard and soft, in the job advert, explains Martin Carline, careers coach at CV Template Master. “Tailoring your CV to these requirements is essential if you want to get recognised as a potential candidate – and to land that all important interview.”

Assuming that whoever wrote the advert will also be reading your CV, you can aim to match certain keywords.

If you use the same of similar jargon as the HR manager, you will instantly strike a chord and stand out from the crowd. Here are a couple of snippets from random job adverts, and we’ve highlighted the keywords:

  • Do you want to make a difference to the lives of young people?
  • Are you reliable, resilient, and ready for a challenge?

By subtly inserting these keywords into your own CV and cover letter you will get instant recognition from the employer. You are clearly on the same page and a potential candidate for an interview.

Sometimes the jargon is rather loose and it can help to look deeper than the face value of the words used. “If you stop and think about what all of these buzzwords are signaling, you’ll realize how much information you just might miss if you fail to read between the lines,” explains Katherine Reynolds Lewis for Forbes.

Research the company

“Researching employers is one of the best ways to become a stand-out candidate during the hiring process,” says Heather Huhman at Glassdoor.

Conducting research into the company will provide further insight, and help you write a better CV. Visit the company’s website to see what types of words they are using, and to get a feel for the jargon and style of writing.

  • Are they a very positive and upbeat company?
  • Is there website very formal or informal?
  • Who are their customers?
  • What product or service do they sell?

Once you know more about the company you will be in a better position to write a commercially aware CV. Inject as many keywords as possible which closely relate to the type of jargon used in the industry.

As a final note, don’t forget to read the company’s social media pages. This will likely offer even more information than their website, as it may contain interaction between customers. Read lots of reviews and build up a picture of how the business functions and communicates with its customer base.

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