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Keywords: An Important Tool for Job Seekers and Employers.

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Now a lot of us have known for quite some time that keywords are important when posting a job online. If you use the wrong keywords in your job description then candidates may not find the job and you’ll struggle to fill it. Candidates however also need to include the right keywords in their applications.

Many employers are slowly but surely coming around to the proper usage of keywords when it comes to posting jobs. Candidates use different keywords when searching for jobs than employers do. Employers tend to use words like position, role and opportunity while candidates search for things like work or jobs. Employers also tend towards giving their jobs fancy names like “User Experience Agent” while candidates are searching for “Customer Service Jobs” and the two miss each other completely. There’s a significant gap in the keywords used between candidates and employers and for both sides to be happy this gap needs to be closed.

Inefficient keyword use is not just a problem for employers to worry about however. Many jobs are posted online and take their applications online in the currently market. When whittling down the candidates for a job, many large companies use an algorithm that searches CVs, resumes and cover letters for keywords relating to the job; if your application does not contain any of the correct keywords then it’s immediately discarded.

As the candidate it has always been important to read the job description and tailor your CV / resume to fit the position you’re applying for. Now, more than ever, it is absolutely vital. When applying for a job online you must read the job description and tailor your application not just to display your skills and traits relevant to the job but also to use similar keywords to those used in the job description. Where before you might still get away with an untailored CV while job hunting; in the modern world it will often never be seen by a human pair of eyes if it has the wrong keywords.

One last note, for both job seekers and employers posting jobs, avoid “keyword stuffing.” Keyword stuffing is the practice of attempting to jam as much of the relevant keywords as possible into a web-page / blog post / job description / job application.

If an online job posting has blatant keyword stuffing then it may never see applicants. For one; Google’s own algorithms will pick up on keyword stuffing and drop the page’s ranking. The second problem is simply that it looks obvious, and awful, to a human reading it; “IT Sales job in the IT Sales sector where you will conduct IT Sales.” Candidates should avoid keyword stuffing for this very reason; it may get you past the company’s algorithms but it will look awful to the person it gets to.

So keep your keywords relevant to the job, or if you’re an employer keep them in line with what candidates are actually searching for, but don’t overdo it. 

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