How to Use Resume Keywords to Beat the ATS + 120 Examples


Learn which resume keywords to include to conquer the ATS with our expert guide. Plus, access 120 real-world examples to boost your job application success.

Resume keywords are important words and phrases from a job description. These are the core skills, experiences, and qualifications that a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) is looking for. The ATS checks whether your resume matches the job description based on the keywords included. The easiest way to use ATS resume keywords is to add the job title you’re applying to in your summary section, list key abilities in the skills section, and describe relevant achievements in the work experience section. 

The applicant tracking system (ATS) can filter out “qualified” resumes from hundreds of thousands of candidates in mere seconds based on one thing: resume keywords. 

ATS resume keywords are the words and phrases that prove you match the company’s job description. These keywords are usually the primary skills and experiences that hiring managers look for. 

Hiring teams want candidates who aren’t just qualified for the role. They want candidates who are qualified for the company’s specific job requirements. 

In other words, it doesn’t matter if you have all the knowledge in your field. 

If you fail to communicate on your resume that you can specifically meet the company’s expectations for the role, their ATS may reject your application. 

This is a common reason why most job seekers fail to land interviews. 

And it’s tough, especially knowing that you could be losing out to others who are less knowledgeable in your field. 

That’s why, in this guide, I’ll walk you through how to find and use the right resume keywords.

What Are ATS Resume Keywords?

ATS resume keywords are the essential terms from a job description that a resume must include to get past the first stage of the hiring process. 

“ATS” is an abbreviation for applicant tracking system. This refers to recruitment software that companies use to assess resumes. It checks whether a resume matches a company’s job description based on how certain keywords have been included. 

For recruiters, it’s a convenient solution because it allows them to review hundreds and thousands of resumes within seconds. By doing so, they can easily find the high quality candidates and focus on those applicants who are worth their time.

In order to pass the first phase of the hiring process, you need to beat the applicant tracking system.


By using keywords for resume scanners. This is one key requirement the ATS and hiring managers will definitely be looking out for. Depending on the type of keyword, how and where you’ve used them, it all makes a big difference.

For example, depending on your job title you will need:

  • Keywords for resume skills
  • Resume keywords for management
  • Resume keywords for marketing

You'll also need a clean, professional resume format.

Now, an ATS resume with keywords is what guarantees you an interview. 

Since it’s a requirement set for employers, you should understand why an ATS resume with keywords is so important.

Almost all hiring teams for all companies are using an applicant tracking system software to find their future employees. Without mentioning any of the ATS keywords, you’ll have a tough time trying to secure your next job. 

How to Find Resume Keywords?

You can find resume keywords from the company’s job description. The primary keywords are typically found in the “requirements” and “responsibilities” section of a job ad. Read through these parts carefully. Take note of key skills, experiences, and qualifications that the company is looking for. A bulk of the keyword requirements are found on the job ad.

Another easy way to find the right ATS keywords is to use a keyword scanner. This scans the job description for you and generates a list of all the keywords that you might need. 

The Top 20 ATS Keywords From 19,786 Resumes

What are good keywords for a resume? According to our infographic, the top 20 ATS keywords are:

  • Microsoft
  • Office
  • Python
  • Management
  • Excel
  • English
  • HTML
  • Data 
  • CSS
  • Google
  • Fluent
  • SQL
  • Tableau
  • Analysis
  • Linux
  • Project
  • Javascript
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Word
Top Keywords

ATS Keyword Examples For Different Industries

Aside from the top 20 resume keywords from 19,786 resumes, there are hundreds more ATS keywords for you to use. 

Keep in mind that these should be placed in the right resume sections. We’ll get into more detail on how to use ATS keywords in your resume later on this guide too, so be sure you’re paying attention!

For now, here are a few job-related ATS keywords examples.


  • Financial analysis
  • Budgeting
  • Cost reduction
  • Financial planning
  • Risk management
  • Investment analysis
  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Portfolio management
  • Tax planning


  • Legal research
  • Contract negotiation
  • Litigation support
  • Case law
  • Intellectual property
  • Criminal law
  • Family law
  • Environmental law
  • Corporate law
  • Legal compliance


  • Curriculum development
  • Classroom management
  • Student assessment
  • Educational technology
  • Instructional design
  • Special education
  • E-Learning
  • Student engagement
  • Educational leadership
  • Lesson planning


  • Digital marketing
  • Market analysis
  • Social media management
  • Content marketing
  • Brand development
  • Email marketing
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Marketing strategy
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Customer acquisition


  • Patient care
  • Medical coding
  • Healthcare administration
  • Clinical research
  • Medical billing
  • Nursing
  • Medical laboratory
  • Patient diagnosis
  • Surgical procedures
  • Healthcare compliance


  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Structural design
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Quality control
  • CAD (Computer-Aided Design)
  • Project management
  • Renewable energy
  • Manufacturing processes


  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership development
  • Team building
  • Technical skills
  • Multitasking
  • Organizational skills
  • Quality assurance
  • Performance optimization
  • Strategic planning
  • Sales strategy
  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Audit
  • Brand
  • Budget
  • Business development
  • Coding
  • Computer science
  • Content management
  • CRM
  • Customer service
  • Data analysis
  • Digital CX
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Forecasting
  • Human resources
  • Innovation
  • Internship
  • Java
  • KPIs
  • Marketing
  • Microsoft office
  • Oracle
  • Outsourcing
  • Research
  • Payroll
  • Product management
  • Project management
  • Recruitment
  • Risk control
  • Sales
  • Salesforce
  • Scheduling
  • Social media
  • Software development

Alternative ATS Resume Keywords and Phrases

Now, let’s transition to industry-related ATS keywords you can use for your ATS resume. 

If you’re not familiar with these terms, do your diligent research and understand its meaning. Using these ATS keywords without knowing its context is a signal to the hiring manager you lack experience and understanding in the field.

You may have already noticed, but some of these ATS keywords include resume action verbs. These are extremely useful when it comes to describing your skills or work experience too.

  • CAD
  • SaaS
  • Market research
  • Cash flow
  • Event planning
  • Segmentation
  • Video production
  • Consulting
  • Collaborative
  • UX
  • Cyber security
  • Database
  • Devops
  • Acquisition
  • Fundraise
  • Revenue
  • Real-time
  • Analysis
  • Networking
  • Strategy
  • Testing
  • Editorial
  • Talent acquisition
  • Internal audit
  • Case study
  • Leadership
  • Mortgage
  • SEO

How to Use ATS Keywords In Your Resume

Firstly, add the job title and company you’re applying to in the summary section. Mention the job title to introduce yourself, for example, “Data analyst with…” You can also mention the job title when highlighting a career objective, for instance, “Seeking a career as a data analyst to…” 

Another way to easily include ATS keywords is to simply list the key skills in the skills section. 

And most importantly, highlight relevant achievements and responsibilities in the work experience section. 

Below, I’ll go through how to find and use keywords on a resume. 

1. Analyze The Job Description

As mentioned earlier, this is the first place you should be looking at when thinking about what ATS keywords you’re going to need. 

Begin your search for resume keywords by carefully examining the job posting. The qualifications, skills, and specific requirements mentioned in the posting are your primary source of keywords. Highlight and make a list of these terms, ensuring they align with your qualifications.

When analyzing the job description, consider the specific words or phrases they’re using that they want to see from you. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Have they mentioned a particular skill or responsibility they’re looking for in candidates? 
  • Is there work experience from an ideal work position that’s been mentioned?

Find out the skills and duties they expect from their ideal candidate. Whether that’s social media or digital marketing skills, these are ATS keywords to use that you shouldn’t forget to include. When doing so, not only will you match the employers expectations but you’ll position yourself as the perfect candidate.

Rezi's ATS Keyword Targeting

2. Use The Job-Related Keywords

Make it easy for the applicant tracking system to detect your ATS keywords by using the keywords that are job-related and aligned with the context of your job position. Don’t forget to include your job title in your resume, particularly in the work experience section. 

Important resume sections for your ATS keywords include:

3. Focus On The Industry-Related Keywords

Next, you want to include the keywords that are industry-related and aligned with the context of the entire field as a whole. 

Job-related keywords are important for meeting the ATS keywords requirements. 

Unfortunately, at the same time, it doesn’t mean it’s enough. When a job posting is competitive, you need more than just mentioning resume keywords for an interview with your prospective employers.

The purpose behind these are to create the perception you’re an expert.

You want the employer to perceive and acknowledge you as a valuable asset who’s beneficial to have on the team. 

4. Implement Your ATS Keywords Naturally In The Right Resume Sections

Once you've identified relevant keywords, it's time to incorporate them into your resume. Carefully integrate them into your professional summary, skills section, and job descriptions. Use them naturally within your accomplishments and responsibilities, as excessive keyword stuffing can be a red flag for both ATS and human reviewers.

Keep in mind that your resume should not only cater to the ATS but also be reader-friendly for hiring managers. Strike a balance between keyword optimization and readability, ensuring that your resume effectively communicates your qualifications and accomplishments.

5. Consider Power Words & Resume Action Verbs

These aren’t the same as ATS keywords. 

Although they’re not an essential requirement to beat the applicant tracking systems, it’s vital if you want to stand out because it makes your resume more compelling. When used properly, it amplifies your achievements, skills and capabilities. 

Power words: words used to make the description of your responsibilities and duties more impactful.

Resume action verbs: using action words is a technique to keep your employers engaged by making your resume more appealing.

By using a simple power word or action verb, it adds depth to the level of your skills and expertise. To put simply, you can view them as ways to intensify your application by adding more spice to your resume.

6. Proofread & Edit Your Resume Accordingly

Have you used numbers, abbreviations or capital letters?

These all need to be checked. As simple as it sounds, you’d be surprised with how many applications have failed through the first few seconds because of small errors like this.

One grammar error removes all the credibility you might’ve shown on your resume. 

So, be sure everything is grammatically correct with no spelling mistakes. When editing your resume, check it against the job description to ensure your using ATS keywords and matching the needs of the job vacancy. 

If the job description uses the number 2 instead of the word two, this means you should be using the number 2 as well. 

Use Rezi AI Keyword Targeting to Find Keywords in Seconds

The ATS keyword research process doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it’s a straightforward process if you’re doing it with Rezi. 

First, get started for free using our resume builders at no cost:

Rezi Homepage

You’ll then be taken inside our app which looks like this:

Rezi dashboard

Then, simply click on “create new resume” and follow the steps from there.

You’ll first be asked to enter your name, job position and level of experience. You’ll then be taken into a dashboard:

Fill out the resume information

Filling in the details for each resume section has never been easier, especially with our A.I. resume writer feature. This gives you suggestions based on what’s worked for other candidates in your job position, so you can rest assured each step of building your resume is maximized for success.

More importantly, notice the last section labelled “finish up” because this is where the magic happens:

resume finish up tab

You have the Rezi score near the top to grade your resume application. Not just that, but you have the option to get feedback from experts by the “ask for Rezi expert review” option.

How about the ATS keywords? 

That’s the magic - where our A.I keyword targeting feature comes in

Simply enter your job title then copy and paste the job description into our resume builder. Here’s an example:

Add job description

Next, press “save job description”. 

Now, you have a whole list of ATS keywords generated so you can easily beat the applicant tracking system:

Save Job description

Can you believe it’s that easy to know all the ATS resume keywords the hiring manager wants to see?


Let’s recap on how to find and use ATS resume keywords: 

  • Check the requirements and desired skills from the company’s job description, or use a resume keyword scanner. 
  • Add the job title and company name into your summary or objectives section. 
  • List core skills and competencies in the skills section.
  • Describe relevant achievements and responsibilities in the work experience section. 
  • Use abbreviations and their full words to ensure maximum visibility. For instance, “search engine optimization (SEO).”
  • Include both job-related keywords and industry-related keywords in resume sections where they fit naturally. 

For your resume to optimize ATS keywords in the best way, you just need to show that you have what the employers are looking for. Not only will you beat the applicant tracking system, but you’ll demonstrate a high level of expertise and understanding.

As long as you communicate that effectively, you’ll find yourself on the guest list for an interview.

Also, building a resume with Rezi is easy and simple. On top of that, you can get started at no cost. If you haven’t already been actively following this step-by-step process, get started right now for free by clicking below.

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Rezi is an ai resume builder to help you to create a resume that os sure to check the boxes when it comes to applicant tracking systems : Rezi Review by Ashley

Astley Cervania

Astley Cervania is a career writer and editor who has helped hundreds of thousands of job seekers build resumes and cover letters that land interviews. He is a Rezi-acknowledged expert in the field of career advice and has been delivering job success insights for 4+ years, helping readers translate their work background into a compelling job application.

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