We’re always hearing about using keywords, but what are they and how can you incorporate them painlessly? Here’s a step-by-step approach.
1. If you don't already have a job description that intrigues you, go to Indeed and type in your former or current title to find a posting. Copy the entire job description.
2. Open Wordle, which creates word clouds from text. Paste the job description into the empty box, and hit "go"! It will generate a cluster of words. Words that are larger appear more frequently in the job description, so the cloud tells you what phrases and words are most important. You can print or save the word cloud.
3. Now you know which skills and qualifications you need to highlight in your job application. But how do you do it? Come up with examples of projects where you've demonstrated those skills. For example, is "presentations" a prominent word? Think about presentations you've given at work, school, or while volunteering. What was the topic? How many people did you present to? Did it lead to positive compliments or outcomes?
4. Write a bullet that answers those questions in your resume and bonus. If you have more you want to say about that skill, use additional experiences in your cover letter to supplement the information in your resume.
5. Continue to do this for each of the larger terms appearing in your word cloud. When you feel comfortable with it, you may not even need to use Wordle. Simply focus on the section of a job description that says "minimum required qualifications" or "job requirements," and pull out key skills to match against your background.