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5 min read

CV Keywords - How To Get Noticed By Applicant Tracking Systems

In today's fast paced and digital jobs market, applicant tracking systems have a pivotal role to play by screening and filtering CVs. To enhance your chance of getting noticed by these systems and being offered an interview then you must get yourself noticed and stand out from the crowd, especially as some vacancies may receive hundreds if not more, applications for one job.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
August 25, 2023

In today's fast paced and digital jobs market, applicant tracking systems have a pivotal role to play by screening and filtering CVs. To enhance your chance of getting noticed by these systems and being offered an interview then you must get yourself noticed and stand out from the crowd, especially as some vacancies may receive hundreds if not more, applications for one job.

Applicant tracking systems are a type of software that can be chosen to be utilised by employers to manage job applications much more efficiently. The specialised software is able to scan documents for relevant keywords and phrases and this in turn helps companies to filter through a large volume of potential candidates. The keywords will be specific that relate to the desired skills, qualifications or experience that is mentioned in the job description.

You can readily identify the requirements for the position you are applying for by carefully analysing the job description. Be on the lookout for recurring words that describe essential skills and qualities. Pay attention to both hard skills e.g computer programming  and soft skills e.g leadership qualities, as these are equally as important for many roles and should not be overlooked.

To optimise your own CV you must customise your CV for each job application and include industry specific wording from the job description. Use variations which will expand the coverage of your CV and prioritise keywords by placing them in important and prominent sections of your CV such as the summary, experience or qualifications.

While you insert your keywords strategically in your CV, ensure that you include specific examples and achievements or experience which will demonstrate your proficiency and enhance your impact.

Despite it being extremely important to include keywords and phrases, it is equally important not to overuse them. Maintain a healthy balance between keyword optimisation and your own professional history. Yes, the CV may be scanned by software to collate keywords but it will also be read by a real person - maybe several - so ensure the CV remains professional, readable and consistent.

Mastering the art of CV keywords and industry related phrases is a crucial aspect of getting noticed in the job market. By understanding the role of applicant tracking systems, identifying key words and using optimisation strategies, you can increase your chance of being noticed by a prospective employer.

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