Job seekers, rejoice! We’ve compiled a list of the top 500 resume keywords that hiring managers are looking for when considering job applicants. 

We’ve grouped these keywords into general job categories, so you can easily find the words that best fit your experience and skills. Simply choose the keywords that are most relevant to your experience and include them on your resume. 

By having these keywords on your resume, you’ll improve your chances of being noticed by a hiring manager and landing an interview.

Table of Contents

What are resume keywords?

Job seekers today face a daunting task when it comes to creating a resume that will catch the eye of a hiring manager.

Why? Because most companies (including 99% of Fortune 500 companies) now use applicant tracking systems, or ATS, to rank and filter job applicants.

ATS is a computer software application that helps employers manage the hiring process.

When you submit your resume, it usually goes straight into an ATS database. Hiring managers then search for suitable candidates by typing certain keywords into the search bar.

These keywords are usually job titles and hard and soft skills. This is what is meant by “resume keywords.”

Read the full guide: What Is An ATS? 8 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

What keywords do recruiters look for?

“The first thing I’m looking for is the hard skills that match the job description,” one corporate recruiter told Jobscan.

For example, if a recruiter wanted to fill a position for a marketing manager, they might type in keywords such as “social media,” “SEO,” or “branding.” 

The ATS then searches through all of the resumes in its database and pulls out those containing the keywords the recruiter was searching for.

The first thing I’m looking for is the hard skills that match the job description.”

Unfortunately, a lot of resumes simply vanish into the black hole of an ATS database, never to be seen by a live human being. All because they didn’t contain the right keywords!

In fact, according to a study by the Harvard Business School, ATS technology screens out qualified applicants in 88% of companies because they don’t have the right keywords in their resumes.

Read the full guide: Top Resume Skills and How to List Them

How do you find the right resume keywords to use?

One of the best ways to find keywords is to re-read the job description.

Pay attention to the skills and qualifications that are listed as requirements for the position. Then add those keywords to your resume, especially in the work experience section.

The easiest and most effective way to find keywords is to use Jobscan’s resume scanner. This tool uses AI technology to analyze your resume and compare it to the job description. 

The resume scanner will not only tell you exactly which keywords to use on your resume, but it also provides you with an overall match rate.

The match rate is based on several factors, including skills, keywords, and experience.


Make your resume stand out and get noticed

Upload your resume to see what’s missing and get a free match rate.

View full results and optimize your resume


How to use keywords in your resume

Optimizing your resume isn’t as simple as stuffing industry-specific skills and jargon into your resume.

It’s about tweaking the keywords already in your resume to match the job description.

For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you probably have a lot of experience with Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe’s software bundle that includes standards like Photoshop and Illustrator. 

But let’s say the job description mentions only “Adobe Creative Suite,” its former name.

If you have “Adobe Creative Cloud” on your resume but the hiring manager searches the ATS for “Adobe Creative Suite,” there’s a possibility you could be excluded from the results even though you possess the exact skillset they’re looking for. 

This is why it’s so important to tailor your resume to every job you apply for.

To optimize your resume for this particular job opening, you should change your resume keyword to “Adobe Creative Suite.”

The same thing can happen with job titles. There are many variations of job titles based on industry, company culture, or experience levels.

Here are three examples:

Example #1 – You’re applying for a “Content Writer” position, but your previous job title was “Content Creator” which is what you’ve put on your resume. Because “Content Writer” is listed in the job description, this is what the hiring manager will most likely search for.

It’s the same job, so change “Content Creator” to “Content Writer” on your resume to increase your searchability.

Example #2 -The job title buzzword fad (ninjas, gurus, rock stars, etc…) is thankfully dying out, but you still have “Customer Service Wizard” on your resume from a previous job.

Unless a job description asks for actual sorcery skills, you should change the job title to reflect the new job for which you’re applying.

Example #3 – You worked for six years as a “Web Developer” at a small firm that didn’t differentiate experience levels. In other contexts, you would be a “Senior Web Developer,” so make that change on your resume as you pursue other senior-level positions.

There’s nothing wrong with changing the job titles on your resume. All you’re doing is translating your job titles into the same language used by the hiring manager of the company you’re applying to. 

This is what optimizing your resume keywords is all about.

Important note: We’re talking about re-contextualizing your work experience rather than improving it. Do not give yourself a promotion you felt you deserved but didn’t get!

Read the full guide: Resume Words: Keywords, Adjectives, Skills, and Power Verbs

jobscan has helped over 1 million users build and optimize their resume

Pro Tip #1: Add keywords exactly as they appear in the job description

Many ATS do not recognize tenses, plurals, synonyms, abbreviations, or other word variations.  

The best way to determine which keyword variation you should include on your resume is to simply copy what’s written in the job description. 

For example, if the keyword “manager” is used frequently in the job description but your resume says “Managed team of 11 engineers,” simply rewrite it to say “Manager of a team of 11 engineers.”

Pro Tip #2: Don’t overstuff keywords!

Your resume should always be natural and easy to read. Don’t add keywords just for the sake of “pleasing” the ATS. 

When it comes to keywords, remember to use them sparingly. A few well-placed keywords will do the trick and help your resume stand out from the rest.

Top 500 ATS resume keywords list

Below are the resume keywords, organized by industry, that appear most frequently in Jobscan‘s database of real job descriptions. (Note: some keywords are used multiple times).

Remember, always check the job description to see exactly how these keywords are used!

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Business, Finance, Law

  1. account management
  2. accounting
  3. accounts payable
  4. accounts receivable
  5. analysis
  6. analytical
  7. analytical skills
  8. analytics
  9. analyze data
  10. analyzing data
  11. annual budget
  12. asset management
  13. audit
  14. auditing
  15. banking
  16. billing
  17. budget management
  18. budgeting
  19. business administration
  20. business cases
  21. business issues
  22. business management
  23. business planning
  24. business plans
  25. business process
  26. business requirements
  27. business stakeholders
  28. business strategy
  29. business systems
  30. CAD
  31. cash flow
  32. CFA
  33. client relationships
  34. client service
  35. client services
  36. compliance
  37. consulting experience
  38. consulting services
  39. consumers
  40. contracts
  41. co-op
  42. cost effective
  43. cost reduction
  44. data analysis
  45. data collection
  46. data management
  47. data quality
  48. database
  49. deposits
  50. due diligence
  51. dynamic environment
  52. economics
  53. EMEA
  54. expenses
  55. external partners
  56. finance
  57. financial analysis
  58. financial management
  59. financial performance
  60. financial reporting
  61. financial reports
  62. financial services
  63. financial statements
  64. financing
  65. forecasting
  66. forecasts
  67. GAAP
  68. general ledger
  69. governance
  70. internal audit
  71. internal controls
  72. internal customers
  73. internal stakeholders
  74. international
  75. inventory
  76. inventory management
  77. investigate
  78. investigation
  79. investigations
  80. invoices
  81. invoicing
  82. journal entries
  83. law enforcement
  84. leadership development
  85. lean
  86. legal
  87. legislation
  88. litigation
  89. machine learning
  90. MIS
  91. mortgage
  92. non-profit
  93. partnership
  94. partnerships
  95. payments
  96. payroll
  97. physical security
  98. PMP
  99. policies
  100. portfolio management
  101. presentations
  102. process improvement
  103. project planning
  104. proposal
  105. prospecting
  106. purchase orders
  107. purchasing
  108. real estate
  109. reconcile
  110. reconciliation
  111. regulations
  112. relationship management
  113. reporting
  114. revenue growth
  115. RFP
  116. RFPs
  117. risk assessment
  118. risk assessments
  119. risk management
  120. security clearance
  121. small business
  122. spreadsheets
  123. statistical analysis
  124. statistics
  125. strategic direction
  126. strategic initiatives
  127. strategic planning
  128. strategic plans
  129. strategy
  130. Tableau
  131. tax
  132. technical knowledge
  133. transactions
  134. underwriting
  135. vendor management
  136. vendors

Customer Service, Retail, Human Resources, Tourism

  1. beverage
  2. billing
  3. build relationships
  4. client relationships
  5. client service
  6. consumers
  7. customer experience
  8. customer-facing
  9. customer requirements
  10. customer service
  11. customer-facing
  12. employee relations
  13. filing
  14. help desk
  15. hospitality
  16. hotel
  17. hotels
  18. human resource
  19. human resources
  20. immigration
  21. in-store
  22. internship
  23. media relations
  24. office software
  25. on-boarding
  26. outreach
  27. PeopleSoft
  28. performance metrics
  29. phone calls
  30. retail
  31. sales
  32. sales experience
  33. sales goals
  34. sales operations
  35. Salesforce
  36. staffing
  37. supervising
  38. supervisory experience
  39. support services
  40. talent acquisition
  41. talent management
  42. travel
  43. travel arrangements

Education

  1. administrative support
  2. admissions
  3. biology
  4. chemistry
  5. coaching
  6. computer science
  7. computer software
  8. counsel
  9. counseling
  10. fundraising
  11. German
  12. higher education
  13. mathematics
  14. physics
  15. program development
  16. public relations
  17. recruiting
  18. recruitment
  19. relationship building
  20. research projects
  21. researching
  22. spelling
  23. sports
  24. teaching
  25. training
  26. writing

Health Care, Medicine

  1. case management
  2. CPR
  3. FDA
  4. fitness
  5. health
  6. healthcare
  7. hospital
  8. logistics
  9. medical device
  10. nursing
  11. on-call
  12. ordering
  13. pharmaceutical
  14. pharmacy
  15. presentation
  16. psychology
  17. public health
  18. public policy
  19. safety
  20. therapeutic

Information Technology, Computer Science

  1. .NET
  2. algorithms
  3. android
  4. architecture
  5. architectures
  6. audio
  7. AutoCAD
  8. AWS
  9. big data
  10. business analysis
  11. business continuity
  12. C (programming language)
  13. C#
  14. C++
  15. CAD
  16. certification
  17. Cisco
  18. cloud
  19. compliance
  20. computer applications
  21. computer science
  22. controls
  23. CSS
  24. D (programming language)
  25. data center
  26. data collection
  27. data entry
  28. data management
  29. database
  30. datasets
  31. design
  32. development activities
  33. digital marketing
  34. digital media
  35. distribution
  36. DNS
  37. ecommerce
  38. e-commerce
  39. end user
  40. experimental
  41. experiments
  42. frameworks
  43. front-end
  44. GIS
  45. graphic design
  46. hardware
  47. HTML5
  48. I-DEAS
  49. information management
  50. information security
  51. information technology
  52. intranet
  53. iOS
  54. iPhone
  55. IT infrastructure
  56. ITIL
  57. Java
  58. Javascript
  59. JIRA
  60. LAN
  61. licensing
  62. Linux
  63. machine learning
  64. MATLAB
  65. matrix
  66. mechanical engineering
  67. migration
  68. mobile
  69. modeling
  70. networking
  71. operations management
  72. oracle
  73. OS
  74. process development
  75. process improvement
  76. process improvements
  77. product design
  78. product development
  79. product knowledge
  80. program management
  81. programming
  82. protocols
  83. prototype
  84. Python
  85. quality assurance
  86. real-time
  87. research
  88. resource management
  89. root cause
  90. routing
  91. SaaS
  92. SAS
  93. SCI
  94. scripting
  95. scrum
  96. SDLC
  97. SEO
  98. service delivery
  99. software development
  100. software development life cycle
  101. software engineering
  102. SQL
  103. SQL server
  104. tablets
  105. technical
  106. technical issues
  107. technical knowledge
  108. technical skills
  109. technical support
  110. test cases
  111. test plans
  112. testing
  113. troubleshooting
  114. UI
  115. Unix
  116. usability
  117. user experience
  118. UX
  119. variances
  120. vendor management
  121. VMware
  122. web services
  123. workflows

Manufacturing, Transportation

  1. assembly
  2. asset management
  3. audit
  4. auditing
  5. automation
  6. aviation
  7. budget
  8. budget management
  9. budgeting
  10. chemicals
  11. circuits
  12. construction
  13. cost reduction
  14. cross-functional team
  15. distribution
  16. documentation
  17. documenting
  18. drafting
  19. drawings
  20. driving record
  21. electrical
  22. electrical engineering
  23. electronics
  24. engineering
  25. fabrication
  26. installation
  27. instructional design
  28. instrumentation
  29. inventory
  30. inventory management
  31. ISO
  32. life cycle
  33. lifecycle
  34. manage projects
  35. management experience
  36. mining
  37. operations
  38. operations management
  39. outsourcing
  40. performance improvement
  41. process improvement
  42. process improvements
  43. procurement
  44. product design
  45. product development
  46. product knowledge
  47. product line
  48. product marketing
  49. product quality
  50. project delivery
  51. project management
  52. project management skills
  53. project plan
  54. QA
  55. quality assurance
  56. quality control
  57. quality management
  58. quality standards
  59. raw materials
  60. regulatory
  61. regulatory compliance
  62. regulatory requirements
  63. repairs
  64. safety
  65. six sigma
  66. SolidWorks
  67. sourcing
  68. specifications
  69. standard operating procedures
  70. supply chain
  71. supply chain management
  72. transport
  73. transportation
  74. valid drivers license
  75. vendor management
  76. warehouse
  77. workflows

Marketing, Media, Publishing, Graphic Design

  1. account management
  2. acquisition
  3. acquisitions
  4. administrative support
  5. Adobe
  6. Adobe Creative Suite
  7. advertising
  8. affiliate
  9. agile
  10. algorithms
  11. alliances
  12. analytical
  13. analytical skills
  14. analytics
  15. analyze data
  16. analyzing data
  17. API
  18. APIs
  19. automation
  20. benchmark
  21. BI
  22. brand
  23. branding
  24. broadcast
  25. budgeting
  26. build relationships
  27. business analysis
  28. business continuity
  29. business development
  30. business intelligence
  31. business planning
  32. business process
  33. business strategy
  34. business systems
  35. case management
  36. change management
  37. client relationships
  38. client services
  39. CMS
  40. coding
  41. commissioning
  42. complex projects
  43. consulting
  44. content
  45. continuous improvement
  46. contract management
  47. conversion
  48. correspondence
  49. counseling
  50. CPG
  51. CRM
  52. cross-functional team
  53. customer experience
  54. daily operations
  55. data analysis
  56. data collection
  57. data management
  58. data quality
  59. digital marketing
  60. digital media
  61. ecommerce
  62. e-commerce
  63. editing
  64. editorial
  65. employee engagement
  66. engagement
  67. ERP
  68. ETL
  69. event planning
  70. Facebook
  71. fashion
  72. field sales
  73. Flex
  74. fulfillment
  75. HRIS
  76. HTML
  77. IBM
  78. InDesign
  79. industry experience
  80. industry trends
  81. information system
  82. information systems
  83. internal communications
  84. inventory management
  85. JIRA
  86. journalism
  87. key performance indicators
  88. KPI
  89. KPIs
  90. lighting
  91. machine learning
  92. management consulting
  93. market research
  94. marketing
  95. marketing materials
  96. marketing plans
  97. marketing programs
  98. marketing strategy
  99. merchandising
  100. metrics
  101. Microsoft Office
  102. Microsoft Office Suite
  103. Microsoft Word
  104. MS Excel
  105. MS Office
  106. MS Project
  107. negotiation
  108. networking
  109. operating systems
  110. operational excellence
  111. performance management
  112. photography
  113. Photoshop
  114. portfolio management
  115. positioning
  116. PR
  117. process development
  118. process improvement
  119. process improvements
  120. product management
  121. product marketing
  122. product quality
  123. project delivery
  124. project management
  125. public relations
  126. publications
  127. publishing
  128. quality assurance
  129. R (programming language)
  130. recruit
  131. regulatory compliance
  132. relationship building
  133. reporting
  134. resource management
  135. retention
  136. sales management
  137. SAP
  138. scheduling
  139. scrum
  140. SDLC
  141. segmentation
  142. SharePoint
  143. six sigma
  144. social media
  145. SOPs
  146. spreadsheets
  147. SQL server
  148. stakeholder management
  149. standardization
  150. startup
  151. start-up
  152. statistical analysis
  153. statistics
  154. status reports
  155. strategic direction
  156. strategic initiatives
  157. strategic planning
  158. strategic plans
  159. strategy
  160. strong analytical skills
  161. telecom
  162. trade shows
  163. TV
  164. Twitter
  165. value proposition
  166. vendors
  167. video
  168. windows
  169. workflows

Key takeaways

  • Most companies now use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to rank and filter job applicants. 
  • Recruiters usually search the ATS for the job titles and hard skills that match the job description.  
  • You can find the keywords to use in a resume by analyzing the job description.
  • Pay attention to the skills and qualifications that are listed as requirements for the position. Those are the keywords to put on a resume. 
  • Optimizing your resume is about tweaking the keywords already in your resume to match the job description.
  • Speak the language of the hiring manager and the job description they’ve created. Use their keywords for resume skills to increase your chances of getting a job interview
  • Add resume words exactly as they appear in the job description.
  • Use Jobscan’s resume scanner tool to automate the process of optimizing your resume. 

Make your resume stand out and get noticed

Upload your resume to see what’s missing and get a free match rate.

View full results and optimize your resume


Learn More…

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