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Do You Have This Key Element in Your CV?

Most books on resume writing are terribly out-of-date. Although well intentioned and filled with other good information, most have not been updated for the job search realities of today. Surprisingly, few career books will even mention what our guest writer Joseph Turner is about to tell you today.

While most recruitment will be handled by specialist headhunting firms, your CV will be seen by many eyes, including electronic. The computer will “score” it by the number of keywords (also known as “buzzwords”) the client will find most relevant. If you don’t account for this, your CV will stay locked in some database, probably never to be seen by anyone while you sit waiting by the phone for the call that never comes.

Put a “Keyword Competencies” section in your CV .

The solution for the electronic gatekeeper is to include a special section called “Keyword Competencies”. This is, quite frankly, just a catch-all bin that you want to use to ensure that every relevant keyword is covered. You want to focus on the words most likely to be used by either a Human Resources staffing employee or a recruiter. They search CV’s by keywords. The greater number of relevant keywords you can include, the higher relevancy score your CV will be given.

The easiest way to do this is to include a separate section that lists all the relevant keywords pertaining to your career and skills. This section should best be listed at the beginning of your CV to introduce the skill sets you possess early on from an interviewing standpoint. Psychology plays an effect here, too. Try to include no more than 75 keywords.

For example, if you were a company director, your “Keyword Competencies” section might look something like this:

“degree, finance, mba, business development, governance, profit/loss, etc”. with additional keywords to suit your particular industry sector.

The idea here is to put in as many relevant, searchable keywords that describe your potential job title, technical skills, management or organisational skills, relevant software and/or mechanical abilities and expertise. Include anything that might be important to the particular job.

Added Tip : If you can locate a description of an actual job or one similar to the job for which you are applying, copy in all the applicable buzzwords listed under required and desired skills. This includes education levels (if they require a BS in Electrical Engineering, then include “BSEE” as well).


If you spend some time on this, you should easily come up with a list of from 40 to 80 relevant searchable keywords to include here. Adding these keywords to your CV will greatly impact your computer scoring and get your CV out of the database and onto the “to call” stack more often.

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