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Job Application Keywords  

Certain keywords, also known as buzzwords, resonate with employers, and can help your application stand out from the crowd.
Last Updated: Apr 25, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Getting Past the 'Keyword Scanner'

The first hurdle when applying for most jobs these days is getting past the keyword scanner. This is an automated system that most companies, especially larger ones, use to sort through the hundreds of applications they receive. As a result of this, it's vital that you include the correct keywords in order to make sure your application actually lands on a real human's desk. 

Always make sure you include the full job title and reference number (if there is one) on your resume, they will always be keywords.

It may also be useful to scan over the job listing and see what qualifications & experience they are looking for. If you have these, make sure you write them out in a way that matches the employer's listing and avoid using acronyms. 

You can find more information on tailoring your resume here.


Words to Describe Personality Traits

Looking to expand your vocabulary or need more ideas for keywords to integrate into your resume? Click here for more!


Action Verbs

In a highly competitive job market, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. One of the ways you can do this is by employing “keywords”, also known as “buzzwords”.  For instance, when describing a previous job, instead of merely saying “Administration”, you might say “Office Management”. Instead of  using “Purchasing”,   you might say “Logistics Management”. To an employer, this will make your experience seem more impressive and significant.

Action verbs are words that will allow you to express things in a way that connotes an “action-orientated” style, in order to grab both the reader’s attention, interest and give a sense of energy to your resume/cover letter. For instance, you may say you “Spearheaded” a product launch or “Implemented” new cost control measures. These words are vital in enabling you to appear dynamic and interesting to a potential employer.

Below are some examples of Action Verbs:

- Achieved                        - Budgeted

- Reorganized                  - Distributed

- Identified                        - Bolstered

- Navigated                      - Innovated

- Updated                         - Revamped


Impact Phrases

In addition to singular words, there are also many “impact phrases” you can use in your job application. Employers are used to this type of jargon, and it might make them more inclined to consider your application further. You could say you were a “self-starter” to demonstrate your resourcefulness and drive to succeed. You may use phrases such as “results driven” or “self-aware” to best describe your personality in a way that is engaging. However, beware the cheesy clichés, “think outside the box” and “go-getter”

Other examples of impact phrases that you could use:


- Good interpersonal skills                         - Proactive manager                      

- Customer driven                                        - Creative problem solver                                

- Goal orientated                                           - Financially astute                                 

- Problem solver                                           - Peak performer           





Things to Avoid Mentioning

Remember, when applying for any job, avoid including any statements that reveal personal information such as your race, religion, gender, marital status, sexuality, age, nationality or number of children.

This information is not relevant to the job application nor is it helpful and merely opens you up for potential discrimination.

Additionally, whilst it may seem obvious, avoid mentioning anything about salary/wages on a cover letter or resume, these discussions come at a later stage.

Finally, don't mention hobbies. The company isn't interested in your hobbies, particularly if they aren't related to the job, and it just adds extra clutter to your resume. 



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