4 answers

What are the key words employers look forward on a persons resume?

Updated Orlando, Florida

I am applying to positions, but have had recruiters make comments to my resume as not being as a highlight to employers, mostly I present myself as a doer and not an achiever. I just want to know what are some things I can do to improve my chances at obtaining a job, I mean I haven't even gotten to a month out of college, but I don't want to be lazy and not start trying to get my foot in the door. #human-resources #recruiting #talent-recruiting #job-application

4 answers

Michele’s Answer

Updated Cardington, Ohio

You have the right attitude to be successful.

Highlight your successes and achievements even as a doer you have them being involved in projects what part did you take, how were you an influencer to the project. Did you have an internship, what did you do, what impact? Any volunteer activities, don't forget to list them the roles you had.

Think of yourself as a business owner, and a new grad is applying for a position- what would you like to see on the resume.

Remember your resume is the first impression of you, how do you look on paper? Formatting is important, clear concise and don't forget you may need more than one type of resume.

Wishing you the best!

Jeff’s Answer

Updated Round Rock, Texas

Hi Melissa.

Very good attitude! And good question.

Resumes used to be lists of accomplishments but they have evolved. Now what employers are looking for is how can this potential employee help me, the team and the company. If you created a new, more efficient process or figured out how to shave 10 seconds off of an existing process that shows employers that you can make a difference. Even if your only job has been fast food, if you figured out how to make fries faster, it shows initiative and the ability to think outside the box.

Employers also know that if it is an entry level job, you probably haven't had much of a chance to make a difference. So don't get panicked about it.

What you need is to use strong action verbs such as drove, created, etc. You can use your projects from school. If you had a group project did you lead it? Did you keep the team focused?

See if you can get a few industry managers to look over your resume and critique it.

Best of luck!


Thank you very much for you input.

Tina’s Answer


Hi there,

You have the right mindset in regards to not wanting to wait long before starting your career now that you've graduated; extended time off is not something a Hiring Manager will care to see. Each opportunity will have different criteria that a Recruiter or Hiring Manager is looking for and they may have set keywords they already know to keep an eye open for when it comes to Experienced Hires. When it comes to newly Graduates, it is generally most important to identify internships you've completed and education details versus keywords that describe your characteristics or attributes. You should certainly list your achievements; and in your case, what did you achieve in school? Did you work on research projects; public speaking projects; or any projects that you are proud of?

Keeping in mind I have not reviewed your resume, my advice is to ensure your resume looks polished versus basic. A basic outline may not stand out well; so it may not come down to keywords at all but more so how does your resume present itself on paper based on the outline / fonts / etc. And yes, it can be that simple of a solution.

Good luck!

Thank you so much for the information.

Carol’s Answer

Updated Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Try your career counsellor at school if you just got out, quite often they will offer a resume review and see if they can suggest alternative ways of phrasing what you have. You can also search for resume advice on many of the jobsites, they almost always have blogs with articles about resumes, interviews, job search and so on. Stick to bullet points where possible, use action words as Jeff said, put numbers and percentages in where you can - employers like those.