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Résumé writing 101: Keywords can make you stand out

- Sara AfzalContributor

A help wanted sign hangs on the door of an Autozone shop in Golden, Colo., in 2009. Look carefully at how an employer describes the job opening for clues to keywords to use in your résumé. (Rick Wilking/Reuters/File)

Hone your job descriptions

Here’s a keyword-hitting formula: Use synonyms. Look carefully at the words used in an employer’s job description, then come up with related words that describe your duties and skills in a previous position, suggests employment website This will heighten search-engine hits.

Putting the same words in a job posting on your résumé doesn’t hurt either, says Mary Ellen Liseno, assistant director for career planning at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. “Using identical words that are in the job description tied in with your own experience is one of the best ways” to attract an employer’s attention.