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What Do You Believe to be the Top 5 Resume Keywords That Recruiters are Looking For?

Laurie Gray's Profile

Resume Keywords For Accounting & Finance Job Hunting Success


Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

In my experience recruiters use key words to match job descriptions. If they need someone that does x, x will be a keyword. The top five for one profession will be different than for another. My focus has always been the hiring manager that will seek phrases - improved process resulting in $ x savings; reduced costs resulting in $ x savings; and effected revenues resulting in a net benefit of $ x profit.

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

Proformative offers some great online courses about effective job search strategies and tactics.

Anthony Enlow
Title: Director
Company: BDO USA LLP
(Director, BDO USA LLP) |

One trick you can use to get flagged is to add key words from the job description itself into the headers and footers of the resume written with a white font. It is invisible on the word document when printed..

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

The first thing is you must understand that recruiters use Boolean searches and usually land on your linked in profile.

If you want a personal profile web page resume to be found you must include the key words of the job description they are searching for, not your name.

If you only want to work in a particular city, then put that in the URL also.

They type the Boolean search string in the Google search box and Google returns all the resumes they want.

Beyond having the right kind of URL your profile on linked in should be dense with keywords that match the job description you are hoping they post. The recruiters are not smarter than you, but they are simple-minded. So if the job they are trying to fill only has basic keywords, they will not look at your resume if you have large paragraphical statements of how you pulled the company away from the brink of bankruptcy.

Keep your resume simple and to the point so a recruiter using 3 word key phrases will believe you have the background.

Get in touch with your HR friends and learn about how they code the ATS, so that your resume never actually sees the light of day. If you don't essentially copy the entire job description and input it at the end of your text resume, the ATS will never allow your resume to be seen by recruiters. The ATS is that system you input your job app into.

Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

It depends on what you current do - and what you are looking to do in a new position. Key word searches are specific to position / industry, not general catch-all phrases.

That said, if your primary job search strategy involves playing the posted position game, your strategy is flawed from the beginning. Conversely, a key-word rich, value-oriented summary on Linkedin WILL attract opportunities your way.

Topic Expert
Mark Sphar
Title: Chief Accounting Officer
Company: Veracity Payment Solutions
(Chief Accounting Officer, Veracity Payment Solutions) |

I think you are spot-on Cindy.

Topic Expert
Samuel Dergel
Title: Director - Executive Search
Company: Stanton Chase International
LinkedIn Profile
(Director - Executive Search, Stanton Chase International) |

When I am doing a search for a senior financial executive, I am looking for the specifics of the role. When I am looking for you, I know where to find you. The more visible and relevant you are, the sooner you will get on my call list.

Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

<> I like this advice, Samuel!

(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis) |

Lead or leading
Created or creating
Developed or developing

Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

There are no "magic bullets" or key words that will get one a position. Cindy said it best in that it may get you a conversation, but you have to back it up with results and specific examples of accomplishments.

Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

Thanks Patrick!

Topic Expert
Scott MacDonald
Title: President/Owner
Company: AlphaMac Resources, Inc.
(President/Owner, AlphaMac Resources, Inc.) |

The whole system is broken in my opinion. Looking for specific words is a hit or miss problem.

Better to design your application process to not rely on a written resume. They are illegal in my opinion anyway since most companies want to see every employer and the dates of employment, which is age discrimination in my view.

Why not have a process that asks about specific qualification and how proficient they are with that skill. No way to guess the age of the applicant and you know exactly what a person can do and at what level. It is also a much better tool for the interview where you can ask real questions about their skills rather than stupid questions like "where do you want to be in 5 years?". (By the way, the answer to that question is "I will be working for another company in 3 years so why do you care?")

Using a resume is like using a stone tablet. They were both invented at the dawn of history. Every other aspect of our jobs have changed over time, but no one has figured out that resumes don't really work? There has to be a better way. That is amazing to me. Most resumes I have read are useless in telling me if a candidate can perform the specific job duties I need. So why do we keep using resumes? Why haven't we forced our HR departments to change with the times? The only thing they have come up with is searching for words in a resume? I think we have allowed our HR departments to become lazy and stuck in the 18th century.

Just my opinion. Hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings.


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