Career Warrior Podcast #315) How to Include the Right Resume Keywords | PLUS Job Seeker News
In today’s episode, we’re diving deep into a topic that’s a constant challenge for job seekers: how to include the right keywords in your resume. It’s a crucial step in the job application process, and doing it right can be the key to landing your dream job.
Host Chris Villanueva, Founder of Let’s Eat, Grandma, discusses common pitfalls, like using the wrong keywords in the wrong places, and how to avoid them. Many job seekers often go too broad and shallow with their keyword choices, missing the opportunity to show their hardcore relevance to potential employers. Are you ready to make your resume stand out as the perfect fit for the job?
Chris Villanueva 0:00
The critical decision if you are applying for more than one type of position, you need to decide how many different word clouds and thus resumes you’re going to have in your job search. And welcome to the Let’s Eat, Grandma Career Warrior Podcast where our goal is not only to help you land your dream job, but to help you live your best life. My name is Chris Villanueva. And I am the co founder of let’s see grandma resume service. We’ve helped around 9,000 professionals with a resume writing packages since 2014–many of those have spanned across various industries. And what I’d like to do with this podcast is give you some insights and data from our clients that can help you move your job search forward. And if you’re a client of ours gives you additional encouragement as you continue to apply for jobs.
Now, with that being said, today, we’re going to cover something that I’ve seen come up again and again and again, in our questionnaire, and through so many concern job seekers out there, it’s how do I include in the right key, I guess you could say the right keywords in my resume here. Most people make the mistake of going too wide and too shallow when it comes to targeting their dream job versus really demonstrating that core hardcore relevance as they send out their resumes. So if you’re ready to finally show that hiring manager that oh my gosh, this resume this resume that’s right in front of your face, I’m just showing you that I am the right person for the job, then continue listening to this episode, because I’m going to give you the full breakdown on how to write the right keywords for your resume.
Alright, I’m going to break this down into two different parts here. The first is creating your keyword word clouds, that is identifying the right types of keywords that should be used. And number two is how to integrate those keywords tactfully in our documents.
So let’s talk about creating our word clouds. Word clouds are something that I pull from time to time. It’s a basic concept I use visually, when I throw a bunch of words on a screen. And it allows me to kind of see if and visualize what I’m targeting what I’m going for here. So when you create your word clouds, two really important things to keep in mind. First is choosing the right amount of keywords for your word cloud and the second is choosing the appropriate searchable keywords in your job search. By the way, if you want a word cloud generator, it’s really easy to find this online, just go to Google and type in a word cloud generator, or we can even put this on the description of this podcast, you can even write this like handwrite this on a notepad it doesn’t really matter. So as I kind of talk this through, just don’t overthink it.
So I’m pulling up a position here. This is just an example a classic example of a job that someone might be applying for a project manager position. So this is a project manager position here for spa glass here in Austin, Texas. And I’m going to have AJ speed my voice up really quickly because you probably don’t want to hear me read through the entire job posting so here it goes says “Job highlights qualifications bachelor degree in construction management construction science or any engineering construction degree six plus years of experience with project/construction management some experience with commercial construction dealing with athletic facilities, higher education, government municipalities experience with Primavera P six blue beam and or any construction management software experience in commercial or industrial construction, no residential projects range from 15 to $30 million minimum.”
Alright, so that’s just one piece of the job posting. And so what I’m going to do here is sort of extract the right types of keywords that I think are going to be used for this job posting, just keep in mind, I know all of you are applying for more than one type of position out here. So as you create your word clouds, what you can do is kind of not just look at one job posting, but kind of identify a theme here. But just looking at this one job posting, I can tell you that the keywords that might be used our project manager, construction management, construction science, I see athletic facilities, I see government, municipalities, higher education, and also those hard skills, Primavera P six blue beam, things like that. So as you can see, I am giving perhaps a collection of around 10-ish keywords that you would center this job posting around, there are probably a few more that I would add there. But I’m going to tell you that around 10, in this instance, is what I would target for the appropriate amount of keywords.
We’re not talking, dumping 50 to 60 to 70 different types of keywords that can see in so many resumes that gets in my way, that’s not what we’re going for, but perhaps a small targeted amount of keywords. Now, I’m going to note something here in the keywords that I listed in as an example. I’m not necessarily targeting those soft skills that so many of us are throwing in our resume communication stuff like that’s really important, but instead I would recommend relying more on position titles, I said the word project manager, and nouns common to the position something like construction management, and those software, those pieces of software that I mentioned, which were Primavera Bluebeam, things like that. One key point that I would like to make here, if some of you are listening, saying, Aha, I know this, I get to hear, but don’t forget to make the critical decision. If you are applying for more than one type of position, you need to decide how many different word clouds and thus resumes you’re going to have in your job search. Clearly, in this job posting, it says experience in a commercial or industrial construction, and it says in parentheses, no residential here.
So let’s say you are somebody who has had that construction project management experience in both residential and commercial environments. Well, what I would want you to do is come up with two different resumes, one focus, perhaps more on your residential experience, and more, that covers more of the commercial experience. And do not send that resume that is residential to this job posting, it explicitly says it wants to see your commercial type of experience. So in creating those word clouds, make sure that you have the appropriate keywords that are centered around the positions you’re applying for. All right, I’m going to move on here. But I hope that you’ve got kind of the key concepts here that I’m delivering it’s don’t include a crap ton of keywords, kind of focus on those hardcore ones, and focus more on nouns, hard things that are common to the position.
Now the next step in writing the right keywords in your resume is to integrate them tactfully. So one really dumb simple way to include keywords in your resume and I see this with many job seekers, I think this is this is okay, but it is to include a keyword section. We don’t call this a keyword section, but something along the lines of skills or qualifications, or you know, if you’re applying, for example, in the software engineering field, you might say software skills, things like that. But what I might do here is include, yes, that section there, if it’s something that kind of is not as important as your professional experiences, let’s say your professional experiences really shine and it looks really good, then I might include that skill section below your professional experiences section and kind of just let it grab the algorithm. But that’s one way you can do it but this is not the only way that I would recommend including keywords in your resume. This is very basic. And at the end of the day, if somebody opens up your resume and doesn’t see how you’ve applied those skills, they are not going to see a resume that looks like a good match. So go beyond just including a skill section, and integrate bullet points tactfully in your professional experiences section. That’s the most important thing.
And number two, especially for those career changers included those keywords at the top of your resume in your summary, that’s so important. So I’ll talk about the professional experiences section real quick, because I think that is just crucial, you can’t miss it. So in this project manager example, I identified Primavera P six in blue beam as important software that this type of job would call for a potential keyword. So instead of just dumping Primavera P six and blue beam in the skill section, what I’ve done is formulated a bullet point that shows how I’ve used those skills, my construction experience, and I said, “problem solving and decision making: analyzed data from Primavera P six and blue beam to make informed decisions and resolve issues in a dynamic construction environment.” Now, if I was spending a little bit more time here, I might include a number a percentage or something that’s a little bit more tangible, but I think this is a good start at including the appropriate keyword and showing hiring managers my actual experience, not just sort of dumping it on my resume, whereas so many people could quickly embellish the resume or lie about it. So just get really deep into that.
The other point I’m going to make here, when it comes to keywords, I said identify, you know, perhaps those 10 ish keywords that can be used in a particular word cloud. From those 10 keywords, I would highly recommend picking the three most important keywords of that set. So what do I mean by that? Well, oftentimes, you’ll find that folks are searching the same things over and over again, when they’re looking for their ideal candidate. In that case, it may be something like the position title that you’re looking for in a resume. So project manager, I might identify as a really important keyword to include in your resume if you’re really gunning for those project management positions. So instead of just including it once, this is where you decide, heck, I’m going to make sure I have the words project manager project management within the resume multiple times, not only in the skill section but also the summary section and also the professional experiences section. You want to make sure that people do not miss this. We’ll call it mission critical keyword here. So I’m trying to give you ways to think about how to be targeted in your job search. And I think repetition is one of the better ways to do that.
All right, so this wraps up the Keywords Section. For now I’m going to shift on over to Job Seeker news. I have a new segment in the Career Warrior Podcast called “Job Search News,” and today we’re going to talk about hiring intentions for Q4. According to the latest Manpower Group Employment Outlook Survey, employees are taking a more calculated approach for hiring and Q4, this is 2023. The study says that the data for Q4 reveals employers continue to plan measured hiring despite economic uncertainties. Globally, employers are beginning to moderate their hiring post pandemic with many focused on recruiting and retaining the business critical skills they need to drive growth. The information technology industry looks like a bright spot for employment in the fourth quarter with 39% of companies intending to hire within the space followed by financials and real estate, which are 33% Communication Services, 31% and healthcare and life sciences 31% in energy and utilities 31%. According to the report, employer said that they are more willing to bring a board candidates who are older and seeking employment changes 34% have been unemployed due to caretaking responsibilities, and 27% have non linear career paths and or are long term unemployed.
So I think this gives a lot of hope. For those of you who are listening to this podcast, I have a lot of folks who submit their resumes saying things like, “oh my gosh, I feel like age discrimination is kind of taking place here or I feel like it’s just really tough.” It’s a tough time for hiring right now. The truth is that it is a tough time for hiring, I’m not going to lie to you and kind of just paint a roses and unicorns and carrot cake. And then “No, I like carrot cake not gonna paint this beautiful picture.” But people are out there and they’re still hiring so my encouragement for you, my take on this piece of news is: don’t lose hope for hiring and get your resume cover letter and LinkedIn right in order. You never know if that perfect position is going to come your way and you want to be ready for that time.
So use the rest of 2023 as prime time to apply for these jobs as other people may be kind of sitting back taking a break and saying, “I don’t need the rest of this year to apply. I don’t think it’s a good time, I’m going to just wait till the holidays are over.” Well, when the holidays are over, all of these people are going to be applying for positions and you’re going to have a lot of competition. So take October, November, December, take this time to get meeting the right people to get your resume in order and to find and grab that dream job of yours. If you’re looking for a promotion, take now to ask your boss for constructive feedback and set up meetings in preparation for any potential end of year review. But doesn’t matter, I’d still recommend kind of getting that resume in order and telling you you’re doing the right thing here by listening to this podcast. Alright, thank you so much for tuning into today’s episode. I really enjoyed it. I know I went kind of at lightning speed here, but I wanted to make sure you got all the right value out of this episode.
As I mentioned, Let’s Eat, Grandma’s helped around 9,000 professionals so if you are a mid or senior level professional who wants someone to write the resume for them, head on over to Let’s eat grandma.com and order one of our packages today. Alright Career Warriors. Thanks so much for tuning into today’s episode. I will see you next time Career Warrior Podcast and before you go remember, if you’re not seeing the results you want in your job search our highly trained team of professional resume writers here at Let’s Eat, Grandma can help head on over to letseatgrandma.com/podcast to get a free resume critique and $70 off any one of our resume writing packages. We talk all the time on the show about the importance of being targeted in your job search and with our unique writing process and focus on individual attention. You’ll get a resume cover letter and LinkedIn profile that are highly customized and tailored to your goals to help you get hired faster. Again, head on over to letseatgrandma.com/podcast. Thanks and I’ll see you next time