Imagine you want to buy the perfect pair of shoes. You sit down at your computer. What do you type into your Internet search engine?
I would type: “shoes”, “travel”, “walking”, comfortable”, “low heel”, and “comfortable”.
Darn, you got me distracted. Ok, I am back after spending ten minutes reviewing some wonderful shoe options that met my criteria for my vacation in October.
The words we entered into that search for shoes are keywords. Keywords are important characteristics used frequently to describe something. If the shoe seller did not describe the shoes with the right keywords, I could not find those shoes even if they were the perfect pair for me.
Somewhere, a hiring manager is sitting in front of her computer looking for a Supply Chain Director. What words does she type into her browser? Maybe “supply chain”, “leader”, “logistics”, “strategy”, “results”, or “problem solving”. This search, whether in Google, LinkedIn, or on a stack of resumes, will reveal folks whose profiles match the criteria.
In a job search, keywords are the words hiring managers use frequently to describe a job. If your LinkedIn profile or resume is not built around those words, you will not be found. I don’t care how talented you are, the accomplishments you’ve racked up, or how perfect you are for that job…
YOU WILL NOT BE FOUND.
You might be thinking, “But Katherine, that is not fair!” Perhaps. But we live in the real world and deal with job search in the real world as we find it today.
The trick is finding the right keywords that allow your profile or resume to turn up when a hiring manager conducts a search.
Here are some tips to using keywords in your resume or LinkedIn profile:
Look for words that appear frequently in job advertisements for the jobs you love. Do some research on www.Indeed.com. Leave the “where” box blank because this is just research. Enter job titles into the “what” box, then start reading until you find three or four jobs that you think you love, without regard to location. What words appear frequently across all those descriptions? Those are the keywords.
Sprinkle those keywords liberally in your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Frequency counts. Ensure five or six of what you think are the most important keywords appear in your LinkedIn profile at least 20 times. This keyword density makes your profile pop to the top of searches.
Hiring managers will believe that you are a perfect fit for the job because you describe yourself using the keywords THEY think are important. Pretty tricky, huh? But it works!