Military Resumes: Top 5 Sources of Industry Keywords

Military resumes and keywords go together like a lock and key – one is pretty worthless without the other. Keywords are industry specific nouns and verbs (with an ever-increasing emphasis on nouns) often searched for by hiring managers and resume scanning software. I’ve addressed the importance of keywords to military resumes in the past, but I want to take this opportunity to share this advice I found on CAREEREALISM. In an article entitled, “Top 5 Keyword Sources for Your Personal Brand” by CAREEREALISM-approved expert, Joshua Waldman, how to methodically identify industry keywords is clearly explained. Here is the article in its entirety:

I’m often asked, “Well, if I need [keywords], how do I know what [keywords] to use?” Here is a simple list of some great places to begin growing your keyword list.

Use Your Brain
I’m not being cheeky by saying that. I think we often overlook our own common sense because the online tools are so convenient.

Sit down with a blank paper and come up with as many industry specific nouns as you can. Don’t judge what happens, now is the time to get as big a list as possible. Later, we’ll hone it down.

Use Related Job Descriptions
I always tell people that job boards are good for at least one thing…finding job descriptions to mine for keywords. Companies will often (not always) include the keywords they look for when screen resumes in the descriptions.

Find 5-10 related job descriptions (doesn’t matter what location) and pick out the nouns that seem to be recurring. Add them to your list.

Read the Book!
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a book every year called the, “Occupational Outlook Handbook” which you can download for free. It lists out job descriptions for each category of job.

Find your job description and mine for nouns to add to your list.

Use Google’s Keyword Tools
Another great place to brainstorm for keywords is Google’s keyword tool. Now that you have a longer list of possible keywords, begin to plug them into Google’s Keyword tool. It will produce a list of keyword terms that are being searched. This indicates the current popularity of the term and possibly it’s viability in your social media profiles.

Make You Top 10
Now that you have a long list of words, and you have a sense of how popular those words are it’s time to cross off the ones that wont work and keep the ones that will. I like to have a top 10 list.

10 is an easy number to manage and to keep in mind while writing your profiles.

Joshua Waldman is a Social Media Career Consultant, lecturer and blogger for He has an MBA from Boston University and over 4 years experience working with Project Managers and Engineers in IT.

At Military Resumes, professional military resume writers litter their clients’ military resumes with keywords.  For more information on professional military resume writing services, please visit