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Find the right keywords to include in your CV and land your next job
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Written by Natalie Barresi

Branded Content Creator

The importance of keywords in your CV and how to find the right ones

When you’re applying for jobs online, the recruiter might only have a few seconds to review your CV before deciding whether or not they want to read further. That’s why it’s important to make sure your resume uses keywords that will help recruiters find you in their database. 

Here’s how:

What is a CV keyword?

A CV keyword is a word or phrase that is used to describe a job seeker or candidate in a resume or CV. 

CV keywords are used to help recruiters find candidates who are a good fit for jobs. A recruiter will search for CV keywords when looking through resumes, so it’s important that you use them in your personal statement, skills section and career summary. 

Using these words will make you stand out from other candidates because they’re not commonly found on every resume.

Why do recruiters use keywords in CVs?

Recruiters use keywords to search for candidates. They use the same keywords that you’re going to include in your CV. The more relevant a keyword is to what you do, the better chance you have of getting past the sifting process. 

They look for the specific terms that are used in the job description. Use the job offer requirements to optimize your CV.

What are the best places to put keywords in your CV?

You can put keywords in any section of your CV, but there are certain places that are more effective than others.


This is the first chance you have to make a good impression on potential employers, so it’s important to get this right! The introduction should be short and to-the-point, explaining why they should hire you over other candidates. If possible, use words such as “accomplished” or “achieved” rather than just saying something like “I am qualified for [insert job title].”

This will help ensure that the recruiter knows exactly what skills set they can expect from you.

Experience & education section:

This section helps recruiters quickly identify whether someone has experience in a particular field or industry based on their skillset alone without needing to read through every single line on their CV!

How can I find keywords for my CV?

There are many ways to find keywords for your CV. You can search online or use online tools. These allow you to input words into a search bar and then generate a word cloud based on their frequency of appearance in the document you’re working with.

However the best and most efficient way to find keywords is by using the qualifications listed in job offers.

Check out online resources

There are a number of tools you can use to find the best keywords for your CV. These include:

    • Google Keyword Planner, which is a free tool that gives you information about search volume for specific terms. Simply enter a keyword into the tool and it will tell you how many people search for that term every month. You can also use this to research find keywords related to your industry or profession, which aren’t as popular but still relevant enough to be used in your CV.
    • Google Trends, another free tool that allows users to get an idea of what type of content consumers are looking for online by analyzing their browsing history over time. This can help determine which topics are trending in your region or country so that they may be mentioned within an applicant’s CV as well.


Ask recruiters and hiring managers directly

If you want to get keyword-specific, there are three places you can find specific keywords that recruiters want to see:

    • The job description. You’ll know the keywords they’re looking for when they write a job description.
    • The title of the position. If there is no job description, look at the title of the position and see if it includes any keywords that might be relevant to your experience and skill set. If so, include them in your CV as well!
    • Keywords used in existing CVs being hired for similar roles (if available). If possible, ask other people who have been working at this company or applied before why they think their own CV did well (or not). It might give you some hints about which kinds of words work best!

Understanding which keywords work

Keywords are a great way to get your CV read, especially if you work in a competitive industry where there are lots of applications for every job vacancy. The best way to make sure yours gets noticed is by including the key phrases that employers use when advertising their roles.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what keywords to use yet. It can take time to get it right, which is why we recommend starting with the tips above. Build a better CV and land that dream job!


💡The job search can be challenging at times, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. There are mistakes that are easy to avoid. Discover how to prevent them from affecting your job search. Read more here →

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