10 Great Executive Resume Keywords and How to Use Them

Published: Jan 12, 2012

10 Great Executive Resume Keywords and How to Use Them By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

There are a lot of ways to enhance an executive resume, one of them being to add appropriate keywords throughout the document. Keywords work wonders in improving any resume because they add depth while addressing key points that hiring managers in the field are looking for.

There are a number of great keywords that could make a difference in an executive resume. The key is choosing the right ones for your circumstances, then utilizing them appropriately to have your resume make the greatest impact when applying for a new position.

Why Keywords Make a Difference

Although you’ve probably read over and over again that keywords have an incredibly positive impact on resumes at every professional level, you may be wondering exactly why keywords make a difference. In short, a single keyword, if used correctly, can communicate multiple skills and qualifications.

For instance, if you use the keyword sales when applying for a job, an employer will assume you have experience, not just in business development but also sales closing, negotiations, and customer relations.

It’s also good to keep in mind that keywords function as the backbone of resume-scanning technology. This technology scans your resume to determine if certain keywords are present. If they’re not, you may be declined for a job because the technology assumes you’re not truly qualified.

10 Great Keywords and How to Incorporate Them

Enhancing your executive resume with specific keywords can be a tricky proposition, mainly because you don’t want to just choose popular keywords that don’t relate to the position for which you are applying. You have to pay attention to keywords found in the job posting—as well as those that relate to the company—to decide which to add.

However, there are some keywords that work well at the executive level and often span multiple fields. Although the following are not guaranteed to suit your resume, they could be considered good choices: 1) P&L responsibility, 2) new business development, 3) corporate administration, 4) organizational leadership, 5) crisis management, 6) multi-site operations, 7) consensus building and teaming, 8) joint ventures and alliances, 9) best practices and benchmarking, and 10) performance optimization.

Once you’ve chosen which keywords should be added to your executive resume, it’s good to incorporate several into your career summary at the beginning of the document since the scanning software will be immediately searching for these words. Also, it’s good to add them to your job target/headline—and even consider creating a separate section titled Executive Qualifications (or similar) that allows you to group several together when listing your skills.

Both the resume-scanning technology and human eyes of a prospective employer want to see relevant keywords added to your executive resume. The more you incorporate (without spamming, of course), the more detailed your resume will feel to recruiters and employers searching for their next great candidate.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

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