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Writing a Resume: 5 Keywords and/or Phrases That Are Attention Grabbers for Employers

Updated on August 24, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.


Great book to develop resumes.

Keywords and/or Phrases That Attract Employers to Resumes.

So you have a resume and you think it's great. You have the right buzz words sprinkled throughout, you think the format is a good one, you have it posted on various job websites, you've e-mailed it to friends and family for feedback to see what they think of it, and you've gotten good responses from your friends and family, but you are getting very few, if any, bites from employers. What's the deal? Well, have you thought of putting some out-of-the-box attention grabbers on your resume? Attention grabbers that pertain to you - that say something about you or about what you are willing to do? This is more than a local economy and employees must act like it. Not only must employees be dressed to impress, but employees' resumes must be dressed to impress as well.

Here are some attention grabbers you can put on your resume that you may not have thought about.

  • Willing to Relocate - I know, this is easier said than done. If you are open to relocation make a list of city and states in which you are willing to reside. Make sure these cities and states are beneficial to your family, if you have one. See what positions are open to your husband or wife in those cities and states. Investigate schools in the area for your children. Check out applicable state and local taxes along with the housing market. Putting this phrase / attention grabber on your resume takes a lot of thought. Many employers have offices in various states and overseas. Employers may ask employees to relocate permanently or for a short period of time. If you don't mind being a road running then this is the attention grabber to place on your resume.
  • Willing to Travel - This is much easier. Who doesn't like to travel for the company especially if you get to travel overseas. I do, I do. Along with putting that you are willing to travel, put the percentage you are willing to travel like 30%, 40%, or even 50%. Employers with multiple offices around the country or out of the country love to see this on an applicant's resume.
  • Bilingual - If you speak a second language other than English, say so. Again, this keyword / attention grabber is great to place on your resume especially if the company is international. For example, put "Bilingual / fluent in Portuguese." If you read and write that second language that is most certainly a plus. In today's world, being bilingual is an asset. Learn a language that is associated with a growing economy. Being bilingual also may open up more employment opportunities. Employers whose employees predominantly speak a certain language is common place.
  • Non - Smoker - WOW! this is really not playing fair, but so what. By placing these keywords on your resume you are sending a subliminal message to the employer that you are a low health risk. Studies show that employees who are not that healthy can cost their employers more money in health benefits than employees who are healthy. Employees who are healthy have less medical issues and therefore make less doctor's visits.
  • Dual Specialties - Companies are looking to do more with less, so if you have "the more" that is great. Dual Specialties is wearing two hats. I work in the Quality Assurance field and write food safety programs and audit food manufacturers, but I also have my hands in Environmental Health & Safety. My resume is a compilation of two positions. Being able to wear multiple hats also allows an employee to command more money. Employers are willing to pay a little more for an employee who can wear multiple hats.

Put these 5 keywords and/or phrases at the top corners of your resume so they stand out. Think about what will grab employers' attention and put those attention grabbers on your resume. Other attention grabbers are:

  • Willing to Cross-train
  • Certifications instead of using the word Proficient
  • Hardware Packages, e.g., computer, electrical, etc.
  • Software Packages, e.g., DreamWeaver, Microsoft Office Suite, CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), Adobe PhotoShop, etc.
  • Willing to reside overseas


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    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Alecia, you're welcome.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks for the tips! I can never get enough resume advice!

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I agree. Thank you

    • pelt545 profile image

      pelt545 6 years ago from Hampton Roads, VA

      Great article. Yeah, employers want to know if they can rely on the potential workers to get the job(s) done.