What Are Resume Keywords?

Job listings include the hard skills and competencies an applicant needs in order to be a great hire. These abilities become keywords used by recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify top candidates whether they’re skimming with their eyes or using software to filter applicants based on the resume keywords.

“The first thing I’m looking for is the hard skills that match the job description,” a technical recruiter told Jobscan.

Recruiters don’t carefully read resumes line by line. They take a cursory glance and only dig deeper if past job titles or resume keywords pique their interest. Having the right keywords is even more critical when technology enters the mix. Most companies (including 90% of Fortune 500) use software known as applicant tracking systems that can scan the content of a resume to make it searchable. Some systems even automatically filter and rank applicants. This means that a highly qualified applicant could slip through the cracks or get wrongly rejected if their resume isn’t optimized with the right keywords.

Top 500 Resume Keywords for 2018

Below is a list of the hard skills and keywords that appear most frequently in Jobscan‘s database of real job descriptions. These are the top resume keywords recruiters and hiring managers are looking for when vetting applicants.

These examples demonstrate the types of keywords to include in your resume. To boost your chances of getting past an applicant tracking system and landing a job interview, be sure to tailor your resume keywords to the specific job for which you’re applying.

This list of keywords includes variations of the same words and phrases, for example, Microsoft Office (124), MS Office (137), and Microsoft Office Suite (324). This isn’t a mistake. The levels of sophistication vary between applicant tracking systems, but most cannot differentiate between synonyms, abbreviations, or similar skills. Rank higher in the applicant tracking system or a recruiter’s search results by matching your resume keywords to exactly what’s in the job description.

  1. design
  2. operations
  3. technical
  4. training
  5. sales
  6. marketing
  7. reporting
  8. compliance
  9. strategy
  10. research
  11. analytical
  12. engineering
  13. policies
  14. budget
  15. finance
  16. project management
  17. health
  18. customer service
  19. documentation
  20. content
  21. presentation
  22. brand
  23. presentations
  24. safety
  25. certification
  26. accounting
  27. regulations
  28. metrics
  29. legal
  30. engagement
  31. database
  32. analytics
  33. distribution
  34. coaching
  35. testing
  36. vendors
  37. consulting
  38. writing
  39. contracts
  40. inventory
  41. retail
  42. healthcare
  43. regulatory
  44. scheduling
  45. construction
  46. logistics
  47. mobile
  48. C (programming language)
  49. correspondence
  50. controls
  51. human resources
  52. specifications
  53. recruitment
  54. procurement
  55. partnership
  56. partnerships
  57. management experience
  58. negotiation
  59. hardware
  60. programming
  61. agile
  62. forecasting
  63. advertising
  64. business development
  65. audit
  66. architecture
  67. supply chain
  68. governance
  69. staffing
  70. continuous improvement
  71. product development
  72. networking
  73. recruiting
  74. product management
  75. CRM
  76. SAP
  77. troubleshooting
  78. computer science
  79. budgeting
  80. electrical
  81. customer experience
  82. I-DEAS
  83. economics
  84. information technology
  85. transportation
  86. social media
  87. automation
  88. lifecycle
  89. filing
  90. modeling
  91. investigation
  92. SQL
  93. editing
  94. purchasing
  95. KPIs
  96. hospital
  97. forecasts
  98. acquisition
  99. expenses
  100. billing
  101. change management
  102. video
  103. invoices
  104. administrative support
  105. payments
  106. lean
  107. process improvement
  108. installation
  109. risk management
  110. transactions
  111. investigations
  112. payroll
  113. R (programming language)
  114. data analysis
  115. statistics
  116. coding
  117. protocols
  118. program management
  119. quality assurance
  120. windows
  121. banking
  122. outreach
  123. sourcing
  124. Microsoft Office
  125. merchandising
  126. business requirements
  127. drawings
  128. Salesforce
  129. documenting
  130. information systems
  131. nursing
  132. business administration
  133. consumers
  134. financial services
  135. legislation
  136. strategic planning
  137. MS Office
  138. counseling
  139. technical support
  140. frameworks
  141. performance management
  142. BI
  143. fashion
  144. HTML
  145. publications
  146. internship
  147. QA
  148. software development
  149. oracle
  150. Java
  151. teaching
  152. pharmaceutical
  153. ERP
  154. fulfillment
  155. positioning
  156. tax
  157. service delivery
  158. investigate
  159. editorial
  160. account management
  161. business process
  162. valid drivers license
  163. electronics
  164. PR
  165. public relations
  166. Javascript
  167. assembly
  168. digital marketing
  169. Linux
  170. Facebook
  171. spreadsheets
  172. recruit
  173. proposal
  174. SharePoint
  175. data entry
  176. hotel
  177. ordering
  178. branding
  179. life cycle
  180. real estate
  181. relationship management
  182. researching
  183. process improvements
  184. chemistry
  185. SaaS
  186. CAD
  187. sales experience
  188. mathematics
  189. customer-facing
  190. audio
  191. project management skills
  192. six sigma
  193. hospitality
  194. mechanical engineering
  195. auditing
  196. employee relations
  197. android
  198. security clearance
  199. licensing
  200. Adobe
  201. fundraising
  202. repairs
  203. ISO
  204. market research
  205. warehouse
  206. business strategy
  207. PMP
  208. data management
  209. quality control
  210. reconciliation
  211. CSS
  212. conversion
  213. business analysis
  214. financial analysis
  215. ecommerce
  216. business intelligence
  217. C++
  218. client service
  219. publishing
  220. supervising
  221. complex projects
  222. key performance indicators
  223. scrum
  224. Photoshop
  225. sports
  226. e-commerce
  227. journalism
  228. D (programming language)
  229. data collection
  230. higher education
  231. marketing programs
  232. financial management
  233. business plans
  234. user experience
  235. client relationships
  236. cloud
  237. analytical skills
  238. Cisco
  239. internal stakeholders
  240. product marketing
  241. regulatory requirements
  242. ITIL
  243. information security
  244. aviation
  245. supply chain management
  246. Python
  247. accounts payable
  248. industry experience
  249. AutoCAD
  250. purchase orders
  1. acquisitions
  2. TV
  3. instrumentation
  4. strategic direction
  5. law enforcement
  6. call center
  7. experiments
  8. technical skills
  9. human resource
  10. business cases
  11. build relationships
  12. invoicing
  13. support services
  14. marketing strategy
  15. operating systems
  16. biology
  17. start-up
  18. electrical engineering
  19. workflows
  20. routing
  21. non-profit
  22. marketing plans
  23. due diligence
  24. business management
  25. iPhone
  26. algorithms
  27. architectures
  28. reconcile
  29. dynamic environment
  30. external partners
  31. asset management
  32. Microsoft Word
  33. EMEA
  34. intranet
  35. SOPs
  36. SAS
  37. digital media
  38. prospecting
  39. financial reporting
  40. project delivery
  41. SEO
  42. operational excellence
  43. standard operating procedures
  44. C#
  45. technical knowledge
  46. on-call
  47. talent management
  48. stakeholder management
  49. tablets
  50. CMS
  51. analyze data
  52. financial statements
  53. Microsoft Office Suite
  54. fitness
  55. case management
  56. value proposition
  57. industry trends
  58. RFP
  59. broadcast
  60. portfolio management
  61. fabrication
  62. UX
  63. financial performance
  64. customer requirements
  65. psychology
  66. marketing materials
  67. resource management
  68. physics
  69. mortgage
  70. development activities
  71. end user
  72. business planning
  73. root cause
  74. analysis
  75. leadership development
  76. relationship building
  77. SDLC
  78. on-boarding
  79. quality standards
  80. regulatory compliance
  81. AWS
  82. KPI
  83. status reports
  84. product line
  85. drafting
  86. JIRA
  87. phone calls
  88. product knowledge
  89. business stakeholders
  90. technical issues
  91. admissions
  92. supervisory experience
  93. usability
  94. pharmacy
  95. commissioning
  96. project plan
  97. MS Excel
  98. FDA
  99. test plans
  100. variances
  101. UI
  102. financing
  103. travel arrangements
  104. internal customers
  105. medical device
  106. counsel
  107. inventory management
  108. performance metrics
  109. lighting
  110. outsourcing
  111. InDesign
  112. performance improvement
  113. management consulting
  114. graphic design
  115. transport
  116. information management
  117. .NET
  118. startup
  119. matrix
  120. front-end
  121. project planning
  122. business systems
  123. accounts receivable
  124. public health
  125. HRIS
  126. German
  127. instructional design
  128. in-store
  129. data center
  130. MATLAB
  131. employee engagement
  132. cost effective
  133. sales management
  134. API
  135. Adobe Creative Suite
  136. Twitter
  137. program development
  138. event planning
  139. cash flow
  140. strategic plans
  141. root cause
  142. vendor management
  143. trade shows
  144. hotels
  145. segmentation
  146. contract management
  147. GIS
  148. talent acquisition
  149. photography
  150. internal communications
  151. client services
  152. IBM
  153. financial reports
  154. product quality
  155. beverage
  156. strong analytical skills
  157. underwriting
  158. CPR
  159. mining
  160. sales goals
  161. chemicals
  162. deposits
  163. scripting
  164. migration
  165. software engineering
  166. MIS
  167. therapeutic
  168. general ledger
  169. Tableau
  170. MS Project
  171. standardization
  172. retention
  173. spelling
  174. media relations
  175. OS
  176. daily operations
  177. immigration
  178. product design
  179. ETL
  180. field sales
  181. driving record
  182. PeopleSoft
  183. benchmark
  184. quality management
  185. APIs
  186. test cases
  187. internal controls
  188. telecom
  189. business issues
  190. research projects
  191. data quality
  192. strategic initiatives
  193. office software
  194. CFA
  195. co-op
  196. big data
  197. journal entries
  198. VMware
  199. help desk
  200. statistical analysis
  201. datasets
  202. alliances
  203. SolidWorks
  204. prototype
  205. LAN
  206. SCI
  207. budget management
  208. Unix
  209. RFPs
  210. Flex
  211. GAAP
  212. experimental
  213. CPG
  214. information system
  215. customer facing
  216. process development
  217. web services
  218. international
  219. travel
  220. revenue growth
  221. software development life cycle
  222. operations management
  223. computer applications
  224. risk assessments
  225. sales operations
  226. raw materials
  227. internal audit
  228. physical security
  229. SQL server
  230. affiliate
  231. computer software
  232. manage projects
  233. business continuity
  234. litigation
  235. IT infrastructure
  236. cost reduction
  237. small business
  238. annual budget
  239. iOS
  240. HTML5
  241. real-time
  242. consulting experience
  243. circuits
  244. machine learning
  245. risk assessment
  246. DNS
  247. cross-functional team
  248. public policy
  249. analyzing data
  250. consulting services

BONUS: Top 50 Soft Skills for Executive Job Seekers

Many of the hard skills above are also found on executive job descriptions, such as operationsbusiness developmentfinance, and strategy. At the executive level, a greater emphasis is placed on the soft skills that are developed and proven over the course of a career. Below are the top soft skills found in current C-suite job descriptions.

These soft skills are harder to define and can be difficult to use on a resume. Executives should sprinkle some of these top soft skills into their resume where applicable but might use them to greater effect when writing their LinkedIn profile. On a resume, it’s more important to provide measurable results and experience that illustrates these highly coveted skills.

For example, you don’t necessarily need to match the job description by including the term entrepreneurial (7) on your resume, but you should absolutely highlight any work you’ve done with startups. Alternatively, include details of a pet project you nurtured, a department you grew, or relevant training you completed.

  1. Leadership
  2. Vision
  3. Track Record
  4. Collaborate
  5. Communication Skills
  6. Competitive
  7. Entrepreneurial
  8. Integrity
  9. Hands-on
  10. Innovation
  11. Consistent
  12. Driven
  13. Flexible
  14. Impact
  15. Collaboration
  16. Collaborative
  17. Judgment
  18. Passion
  19. Accountable
  20. Dedicated
  21. Influence
  22. Work Ethic
  23. Creative
  24. Energetic
  25. Enthusiastic
  1. Interpersonal Skills
  2. Passionate
  3. Professionalism
  4. Proven Track Record
  5. Motivate
  6. Proactive
  7. Excellent Communication
  8. Mentoring
  9. Organized
  10. Problem-solving
  11. Strategic Thinking
  12. Collaboratively
  13. Communicate Effectively
  14. Fast-paced
  15. Attention To Detail
  16. Business Acumen
  17. Cost-effective
  18. Enthusiasm
  19. Entrepreneurial Spirit
  20. Financial Planning
  21. Follow Through
  22. Leadership Experience
  23. Motivated
  24. Multitask
  25. Provide Guidance

Written by Jon Shields, this article first appeared on Job Scan website on January 3, 2018.

Guest writers and carefully selected for Career Enlightenment. Thanks for reading!

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