Searching for Resume Key Words

Regardless of your portfolio’s brilliance, you may be overlooked for prime positions with firms due to one glaring omission: you’re not using the right keywords in your architecture resume.

Keywords are everything in today’s digital world, especially for jobseekers.

Architecture and design firms also rely on the right keywords to find you. With over one million searches online for architects in the US alone, companies already pay close attention to the language on their websites. For example, the keywords “architecture firm” appear in more than 22,000 searches monthly.

Resume keyword scanners, in particular, pair potential candidates with recruiters and HR departments based on how well keywords match.

How Applicant Tracking Systems Work

The applicant tracking system (ATS) prioritizes resumes according to the best alignment between what you’re presenting and what the recruiter or hiring firm is seeking.

For the scanner to recognize you as a good fit for a particular position, the software must flag your keywords. Leaving out keywords can toss your resume to the bottom of the pile — nine out of ten resumes do not meet keyword criteria. Include them, and you improve your chances of speaking with a human recruiter.

Using the Right Keywords in your Resume

There’s a knack to recognizing the right keywords, and if you know where to look and what to look for, you’ll master the skill in no time. These three tips will help:

  1. Read job descriptions. Peruse the descriptions carefully, looking for similar repetitive phrases. Those with the greatest frequency are the keywords that will matter in your resume.
  2. Align your resume to the job you’re seeking. Every architecture and design firm will alter the keywords slightly to align better with their brand and needs. Take a look at the job description the firm has posted. How do the keywords you uncovered in Step 1 show up here? Try to be exact in using the firm’s wording. For example, if they ask for experience with Revit or AutoCAD, make sure you mention your experience specific to the software.
  3. Make the keywords fit naturally. Weave the keywords into the descriptions on your resume, but only if the words fall into place organically. By writing with precision, you help your future employer find you. You ensure a good fit between the two of you.
  4. Repeat the process for each job. Adjust your resume to fit each job you apply for. Stop sending your stock resume out to as many jobs as you can!

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

While you must include the right keywords in your resume for it to rise to the top, you must also avoid over-using keywords. Never insert and repeat keywords to attract the scanner’s attention. That’s called keyword stuffing and engaging in this practice will eliminate your resume from consideration.

It’s better to use architecture and design words naturally and organically. Sound like you know your industry-specific terms. You’ll be more likely to be selected than if you appear to use random terms anyone could look up and insert.