Best Keywords to Use in Your Job Search

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How can you find jobs that match your criteria quickly and efficiently? Using keywords that match your skills and interests is the best way to narrow down job listings to find those that are a good fit for your background.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword, when used to job search, is a word or term that is relevant to the job you are searching for. When you search for a job by keyword, all the positions that contain the term you entered will be listed.

Using keywords can help you narrow down a list of jobs, and search more effectively.

Most job sites allow job seekers to search for job listings by keyword and location, as well as by more advanced search options. For example, if you are searching for a marketing job, you can search use "marketing" as a keyword, then add your location and other search criteria.

Or, if you were searching for electrical engineer jobs you would use terms such as "electrical engineer" or "electrical engineering" plus your location and other search criteria like type of position or experience required.

What Keywords Should You Use in Your Job Search?

The answer to this question depends on your field and the type of job you want. Some of the categories of keywords you may want to use to narrow your search include:

  • Field or industry: While it won't narrow the results too much, begin by putting in the field or industry you'd like to work in, such as "marketing" or "publishing" or "database engineering." Once you see the results, you can add more keywords to ensure more relevant results, and a slimmer list of jobs to wade through.
  • Location: It's up to you how precise you'd like to be. You can put in a state, city, town, or even a zip code. 
  • Desired job title: You can try putting in your desired title (e.g., marketing coordinator) but keep in mind that not all companies use the same title. One company may call it the position "marketing coordinator," while another calls the exact same role "PR associate." So be cautious about using job titles as a search method, and widen your search parameters if you do not get a lot of results.
  • Industry-specific skills, tools, and jargon: As well as searching by job titles, you can search by the functionality required by a job. For instance, you might search by a programming language.
  • Company names: If you happen to have a dream company that you'd like to work for — or a giant multinational company that you know has a lot of job openings at any one time — you can search directly by the company name.
  • Job type: Narrow down search results by putting in full time, part time, contract, etc.

More Keywords for Job Searching

Cover Letter Keywords
How to use skill, results, and recognition keywords in your cover letter to increase your chances of getting selected for an interview.

Resume Keywords
Most companies use recruiting management software to screen candidates for job openings. Resume keywords are the words that those hiring managers search for when going through their database of resumes.