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  • Writer's pictureLisa Dupras

Job Search Hack: Quickly Create Your Resume Keywords List

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Job searchers have heard over and over again that every resume must be tailored to fit the job description to give the best chance to get through the ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). Poring through job descriptions can be a tedious and time-consuming effort. Word clouds don’t show word frequency and there aren’t any fully free resume keyword tools.

Hand writing keyword on board

Use a Parts-of-Speech Parser


A parser breaks documents into their different parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions) and clearly displays them for the user. Categorizing a posted job into its different parts of speech makes the identification of phrases and keywords much easier for updating your resume. Rewordify allows users to classify resumes into their different parts of speech by easy-to-view color coding – and it's free!


How to Use Rewordify to Create a Resume Keyword List

  • Go to Rewordify.com

  • Copy and paste your target job description into the big yellow box.

  • Click “Rewordify text.”

  • Then, click “Parts of speech” at the top of the page to get your results.

Below are the results after cutting and pasting a Project Manager job description from LinkedIn:

sample-resume-with-keywords

What are the Top Resume Keywords?


While it’s not possible to know the exact keywords recruiters are using, they are usually nouns. To highlight the nouns for this job description, deselect all other parts of speech (except nouns) at the top of the screen.


That will leave them, as highlighted in grey below.


sample-resume-with-keywords1

Nouns are the Best Resume Keywords


Review all the highlighted nouns in the job description and pick those that recruiters might enter to search on resumes in their applicant tracking system or LinkedIn for candidates. The

Project Manager job description has the following noun keywords:

Enterprise wide

Cross functional

New products and services

Matrixed organization

Business value

Relationship building

Problem solving

Critical thinking

Separate the nouns that are specifically related to the education and experience requirements of the job:

BA/BS

8 years project management

PMP

Agile Methodology

JIRA

Confluence

Agile

Scrum

This is the target resume keyword list. Recruiters are most likely using any and all of these words to search for highly qualified candidates.


Hard Skills as Resume Keywords


Next, go through the noun lists and identify hard skills. These are the ‘must haves’ portion of the target job. You can absolutely expect recruiters and hiring managers to look for these hard skills. Here’s a list from the Project Manager posted job:

Application development

System Integration

Process reengineering

Infrastructure upgrades

Deployments

Planning strategic initiatives

Complex projects

Project lifecycle

Financial forecasts

Spend management


Weave Skills Into Your Resume


Rather than dropping all keywords into a skills list, weave your skills into the body of your resume, into the responsibilities, accomplishments, and skills sections. As you can see, once you make it easy to spot the nouns in a job posting, your resume keyword opportunities expand significantly.


How to Use Job Posting Verbs in Your Resume


Verbs can be valuable for helping start accomplishment statements. Following are some great action verbs from the Project Manager job posting:

Support

Improve

Collaborate

Lead

Define

Deliver

Manage

Oversee

Develop

Build

Mobilize

Execute

Engineer

Process

Separating out the verbs used in the job posting gives great insight into how to write targeted and specific accomplishments. It also helps us expand our 'resume writing' vocabulary!


Update and Submit to the ATS

Now all that’s left to do is update your resume and weave the targeted words and phrases into the new version. You’ve greatly increased your chances of getting the resume through the ATS system and an interview!


Let's Connect!

What are your challenges in extracting job posting keywords to customize your resume? I'd love to hear from you and chat about your personal career journey. I'd love to hear from you! Follow me on LinkedIn and click the bell icon on my profile page to be notified of my career posts.


When you are ready, here’s how I can help you:

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