Why keyword optimisation boosts career opportunities

In addition to tailoring your resume and other career documentation to help you kick career goals, keyword optimisation will help align your ambitions. It may be tempting to produce and use the same one resume version across various applications, but this is less likely to boost your career opportunities. Taking the time to adapt your resume and cover letter to each specific role you’re applying for, particularly via keyword optimisation, will likely fast-track and enhance your recruitment outcomes.

“To succeed in today’s job market, you have to think of your resume as an advertisement targeted towards your future boss.” (Getlanded.com)

You’re more likely to be discovered

With applicant tracking systems (ATS) now commonplace (to alleviate and expedite the recruitment workload), appropriate keyword usage is essential in job applications. If you don’t slot in keywords aligned with the job ad and/or position description, it’s highly likely you’ll be overlooked or annulled by the ATS digital filter. You’ll never make it to the human recruiter’s resume review stage. You should also use job-tailored keyword optimisation in your LinkedIn profile, to boost your rankings.

You’re going to engage and resonate

Resumes, cover letters and other career documentation where the most job-specific keywords are effectively applied will be more likely to gain human recruiter attention. In those brief recruiter review (scan) seconds, an application where job-relevant keywords are immediately and coherently conveyed is going to encourage them to read on. It’s also going to highlight to recruiters you’re a candidate to take seriously.

It’s going to help you to stand out

Consider you’re up against several other candidates with a similar amount of job-attuned work and study experience, but your resume is the one that contains the most appropriate keywords. This could be what sways the recruiter your way, particularly in a time-poor, fiercely competitive recruitment scenario. Your better synched keyword optimisation may set you apart, further validating your offerings.

You have attention and commitment

A candidate that has clearly spent time and effort preparing their job application, via adaptations that include keyword optimisation, is more likely to be viewed as driven, attentive and resourceful. Many employers are seeking workers with such qualities – i.e. those that go above and beyond to ensure accuracy, compliance and best-practice. An applicant aligned with employer needs, from the outset, will appeal.

Consider how you could use keywords

  • Could you ‘tweak’ some of your earlier employment job titles to better align?
  • Do you have both hard and soft skills that match those specified for the role?
  • Is there enough technical jargon that demonstrates your industry knowledge?
  • Are there specific education and training certifications that need to be listed?
  • Have you done some employer research, to align with the company values?


Walton’s Words has extensive experience in helping job seekers compile professionally written, career-selling documentation. We can help construct resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, selection criteria, and any other documentation that will help you win your dream role. So drop us a line or give us a call if you’d like some assistance with your next career step.

Jeanette Walton received a Writing Expertise Acknowledgement via resumé work published in 7th edition of Resumes for Dummies

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