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Top tips for writing a CV: No9. Sprinkle the magic dust – “keywords”

by Neville Rose at CV Writers

Every job has its own competencies and skills attached. These are usually a broad set of words used to describe the qualities needed to do the job well. For instance, most call centre roles require you to be target driven, have excellent customer service skills and be a good team player. To get in the Police you need to be disciplined, observant, physically fit and be able to remain calm under pressure. It is essential in any application that you use key words associated with the job and sprinkle these throughout your CV with examples. It becomes imperative if you're posting your CV on a job board.

Job boards have evolved considerably over the years both in facilities for job seekers but also for recruiters. CV searches are now a common way for recruiters to find suitable applicants for a vacancy. They'll log on to a site and list the job title, key words and criteria (such as location). The job board engine will then analyse all the vacancies on the site and create a shortlist based on − you guessed it − relevance against the key words. So, if you want your CV to appear at the top of the search then you know what to do.

Don't confuse key words with jargon. Most industries and roles have their own jargon words and acronyms. It's sometimes tempting to put them in your CV to show that you know what you're talking about. Don't be tempted. Don't assume that words used in your organisation will be understood in another or indeed by an HR professional who may look at your CV first. Using lots of jargon in a CV shows a lack of communication skills and the inability to speak to different audiences. Jargon is not the same as key words which are generic terms and can be used across the recruitment landscape.

Keywords are therefore a vital component of your CV. And as technology moves onwards and upwards it's important to play technology at it's own game, and give your CV the best opportunity to be top of the pile.

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