How to Use Resume Keywords: The Top 20 ATS Keywords

ATS keywords are a determining factor for whether or not you get interviewed.
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Astley Cervania
February 28, 2021

Did you know almost all companies use applicant tracking systems to find the right candidate?

In the modern workforce today, nearly every recruiter and hiring manager will be using a recruiting software to scan your resume. 

That’s exactly why it’s important you’re using the right ATS resume keywords.

ATS keywords are a determining factor for whether or not you get hired. With hundreds of other candidates making an application to the same job opening as you, the hiring managers have no time to waste on unseasoned applicants who don’t match their expectations. 

What Are ATS Resume Keywords?

“ATS” is an abbreviation for applicant tracking system. 

It’s a recruitment software hiring managers use to assess your resume to determine whether or not you’re a qualified candidate for the job posting.

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

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. 

That being said, let’s answer the next question that’s probably on your mind.

How to Find Resume Keywords?

Are there any skills or job titles brought up in the job description?

The first place to analyze is the job ad you saw that brought you here in the first place. It’s guaranteed there are work-related keywords you can find about the workspace you’ll be operating in. 

You need to see what recruiters are looking for and you have to meet their expectations. 
Another easy way to find the right ATS keywords is to use Rezi’s AI keyword targeting tool. It generates an entire list of all the resume keywords you need to know for your application. So, stay tuned because we’ll be looking at it in more detail later on this guide!

The Top 20 ATS Keywords From 19,786 Resumes

What are good keywords for a resume?

We’ve gathered the top 20 ATS resume keywords using the data from 19,786 resumes:

The Top 20 ATS Keywords From 19,786 Resumes
Top Keywords

According to our infographic shown above, 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

More ATS Keyword Examples 

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:

  • 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

You’ve got a good gist of ATS keywords. It’s time to look at how to implement them to improve the impact of your resume for the best results.

That leads to the first step:

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. 

A bulk of the keyword requirements are found on the job ad, so don’t forget to use them.

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.

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:

  • Skills section
  • Education section
  • Qualifications sections
  • Achievements

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. 

Implement Your ATS Keywords Naturally In The Right Resume Sections

Once we’ve got our ATS keywords prepared and we know what to include, it’s time to put them down on our resume. 

But, it needs to be relevant. 

When writing down your ATS keywords, it needs to make sense. You can’t just list them down where you think they’ll work and then hope for the best. The applicant tracking systems are smarter than that. 

To help put this in perspective, you shouldn’t just be writing to beat the robots. You should also tailor your resume for the hiring managers at your specific company for your specific role.

In a matter of seconds where recruiters skim your application, you want them to pick up on a few of those ATS keywords to make a strong first impression. That’s why, you need to have a variety and include them in the relevant resume sections where it’s appropriate.

However, don’t repeat them over and over again. Rinsing them out makes the reader experience and readability of your resume bad.

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.

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. 

ATS Keywords With Rezi

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?


Now, you know how to use ATS keywords for your resume application so you can secure your next job. 

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.

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

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