should I use wording from the job ad in my resume or cover letter?

A reader writes:

I am a recent graduate and have a question concerning tailoring your resume/cover letter to the job. I read online that hiring managers dismiss candidates who copy large amounts of wording from the job posting into their resume or cover letter, and I wonder if I have been falling into this pitfall.

If the job description lists “ability to work in an environment prone to emergencies,” is it a faux pas to copy some of that wording into my cover letter? For example: “In my X role, I was tasked with managing the urgent situations within my department that often arose throughout the day, such as [example of a specific situation] and through this experience I refined my ability to prioritize and accomplish my responsibilities, even within an environment prone to emergencies.”

I am not sure if copying the wording of the job description looks lazy to the hiring manager, but on the other hand I figure it might demonstrate that I actually read the job description and have a specific example relating to the desired qualification.

What is your opinion on this?

It depends on the wording. If it’s wording that you might have conceivably used on your own even if it weren’t in the job ad, then sure.

But if the language is reading as convoluted, or if you’re doing it so much that it’s obvious that you’re intentionally mirroring their language, then it’s bad. At that point, it looks forced and weird.

Employers want to read about your experience, in your own words. If it’s clear that you’re just parroting back their ad, then they’re not getting your own words; they’re getting theirs.

{ 94 comments… read them below }

  1. John

    There’s nothing worse than when someone parrots back the title and other verbiage in their cover letter, such as:

    “I have long aspired for a career as Quality Client Service Manager — Level 2. My skills and experience perfectly position me to be a top-flight Quality Service Manager – Level 2 and bring HiringCo my impeccable work ethic, strong collaboration skills and neat and professional appearance to bear in this position.”

      1. John

        Exactly. And they’ll tell their friends, “But I customize every cover letter; what more do they expect from me?!”

  2. Stephen

    In the Canadian federal government where I work, it’s more or less expected to use the language from the poster in your cover letter. Often, people will use each criteria as a header above a justification of how they meet each one. Yeah, it’s transparently artificial, but the if the screener is looking through your application package trying to find where you demonstrate the ability to work in an environment prone to emergencies so they can advance you to the next stage of the process, it’s in your interest to make it easy for them. It demonstrates your ability to tick boxes and jump through hoops more than it gives you a chance to articulate the shape of yourself as a fully-rounded candidate, but we are talking about hiring bureaucrats.

    1. Graciosa

      I do understand that there can be a bit of an exception for bizarrely rigid (usually government) hiring processes, but I still recommend a normal cover letter with a reference attachment (“As you will see from the attached, I meet or exceed all the requirements of the position”) to get through the bureaucracy. In those cases, the letter is still for the hiring manager / committee and should be in the candidate’s own voice. The attachment is to get through the screeners or help tick the boxes.

    2. Alex

      Same thing in the ON government. The scanning software is terrible; if the job add and attached JD says expert at (very specific gov program) and you wrote ” I created/thought /designed the training material of (stupid program)” it will bounce you off.

      A lot of managers have caught on and do the initial sort manually.

      If you know a competition will have a small turn out go a head and customize all you want but we had 1500 applicants for my position when I went on mat leave and there is no way it could had been done by hand.

    3. LV

      I recently applied for a job in the Canadian federal government and the job posting flat-out said that applicants HAD to do this:

      “Candidates must submit a cover letter providing CONCRETE EXAMPLES WHICH ILLUSTRATE, how they meet the education requirement and the experience factors listed in the essential qualifications and asset qualifications.

      FOR EACH EXPERIENCE CRITERIA, please provide the following MANDATORY information:
      1 – Name of the department or organization where the experience was acquired;
      2 – Title of the position occupied and duration for which the candidate exercised its functions;
      3 – Specific details of tasks, projects or accomplishments demonstrating the experience was acquired”

    4. Canadamber

      So this is why my mother makes her cover letters so long, to incorporate everything in there!!! She has mainly been applying to colleges, universities and the federal government. I was like, “Jeeze, shorten it down; no one wants to read your three-page cover letter,” but I kinda get it now… especially since the postings seem to be long and detailed. *bleh*

  3. Graciosa

    Please don’t do this.

    Yes, as a hiring manager I now understand that you read the ad. Hopefully, I could have figured that out from the fact of your application and the contents of your resume and cover letter.

    What I do not know is whether your skills and experience actually match the position (and your personality will work in our culture), or whether you even care. An ideal job interview process – including the cover letter – involves both parties trying to figure out if this is a good fit. A lot of job seeking tactics come across as meant to help the job seeker obtain any job without regard to whether or not it really is a good match. This can seem not only desperate, but also a little obstructive.

    As a manager, I want to identify someone who can not only do the job, but who will genuinely be happy and able to grow in the role. So please tell me something about yourself – in your own words – so we can get to know each other and figure out how well you could fit into the position.

    Good luck in your search –

  4. Mr. Pink

    The problem you run into is that if you don’t parrot the language of the advertisement, there is a chance that the real hiring manager will never see your resume. Many large employers use software that scans the application material to determine whether you are “initially qualified.” This is determined by the number of hits on keywords that the employer loads into the software, and these are generally the same words that the employer uses in the job advertisement. If you say the same thing in your own words, you risk being weeded out by the software. The catch-22 is that when your materials finally reach a real person, it appears that you have merely parroted the language of the job announcement, which is certainly off-putting.

      1. BRR

        Thank you for posting this. I’ve often felt that the people who say this (disgruntled commentators on mediocre news sites) were wrong. It’s either what they want to hear, helps them cope with a difficult job hunt, or are pessimists and think everybody is always trying to screw everybody else. I also think people believe what they want to hear like how people think sending your materials to a hiring manager directly is a good idea. That sounds like a good idea so it must be correct.

      2. Susan

        I believe this author was arguing that applicants shouldn’t worry about secret words. The author did state that keywords are important. Also it does depend on whether or not an ATS is being used.
        From the link:
        “[I]f your resume says that you have experience as a trainer of beginners, and you’re concerned that the ad says they want someone with experience with novice users, you can call that experience out in your cover letter using phrase novice users. That way you’re covered no matter what phrase they’re using.”

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          I think you misinterpreted. In the very next sentence, she adds that it’s not really necessary because employers use a variety of ways to search for the thing they’re looking for and that if they’re not pulling up your resume, it’s probably because you’re not actually qualified. I think you’ve somehow become convinced of something that just isn’t true!

    1. Graciosa

      I know this will sound silly – it is silly – but one option for the overly nervous is putting additional “keywords” into the document and changing the font color to white. This will not change the readability of the letter in normal word processing or printing, but you can get a few (please stress this) additional words into the document that way. I have done this using a master resume to move additional topic areas in my experience into unprinted columns. The finished product prints and reads pretty well.

      There is a chance this will be caught if you have someone doing a search within the document manually, or printing on another color of paper, so it needs to look good either way. Another option would be adding part of the job title / description / employer to the header or footer (again, in white font) where it could serve as a reference for the applicant later.

      I think the use of keywords is dying down (thankfully) but I admit to fighting with our internal recruiters to stop this for my requisitions, so I am sorry to say that it does happen. When it does, however, the key words are never just copied from the ad – we’re trying to find good candidates, not parrots.

    2. Swarley

      I agree with Alison. I’ve worked for a couple of very large (both private and state govt.) employers in HR, and I have colleagues who also work in HR for other very large employers. None of us has ever worked with/heard from anyone that actually uses this type of software.

      Maybe this applies to jobs with the federal government?

      1. Anx

        May I ask what type of software you do use? I would say that at least 75% of the jobs posted online near me that I was remotely qualified for were in large institutions (universities, regional hospitals, government) or large corporate chains (chain restaurants and retail). They all used ATS of some sort. I do live in an economically depressed area which looks like the fast food capital of the world when you drive down the streets, but I’m sure that many others in the country (I’m in the US) face the same issues.

        Are you saying you accepted resumes/cover letters in lieu of ATS, or that your ATS didn’t screen people out?

  5. Fabulously Anonymous

    I use the job ad for more subtle language preferences. Does the employer have clients, customers or patrons?

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Yes! This kind of thing is good. My pet peeve is job applicants who say “company” rather than “organization” when applying to a nonprofit. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker, but it makes them sound really unfamiliar with nonprofits (which aren’t companies). If they paid attention to the job posting, they could avoid it.

      1. LF

        Hmm, I know you’re totally entitled to your pet peeves, but I’m not sure that it’s a logical one. Most 501(c)(3)s are nonprofit corporations, formed under the nonprofit corporation laws of their state. So it would be correct (though odd) to refer to your typical nonprofit as a corporation. That sounds even less “nonprofit-like” than referring to a nonprofit as a company.

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          I think it’s a culture familiarity thing — it’s generally done by people who haven’t even thought through the fact that they’re applying at a nonprofit and bothered to educate themselves about the differences.

          1. LF

            Fair enough. :) And certainly the lack of familiarity can be a tip off that there may be a lack of fit as well.

          2. CTO

            Agreed. Nonprofits may technically be “companies” but I don’t know many nonprofits who refer to themselves as one. It always looks out of touch to me, or suggests a lack of attention to detail.

          3. LBK

            Yeah, it’s not necessarily about the legal definition but about the connotations – a “company,” in colloquial terms, is a business designed to make money. The implications are incongruent with a non-profit.

    2. Artemesia

      Oh good catch. I once talked about ‘managers’ in a military context where the nomenclature was just different. Knowing the local jargon is important when pitching a job or a contract.

    3. Judy

      I tend to use it similarly. I have an engineering skill called “Design of Experiments” that is a statistical method. I am perfectly willing to adapt my resume, especially in the skills section from DOE to D.O.E. to Design of Experiments if the job description has it one way. I leave it as DOE in my resume mostly because it’s shorter.

  6. Parfait

    I agree it’s a terrible idea for a letter that will be read by a human being, but what about when your resume is going to be scanned by a robot and rejected if it doesn’t match all the keywords it’s looking for?

      1. Naomi

        Is the example the LW gave really a case of parroting back the job description? It seemed more like giving a specific example of something she’d done that fit what the job description was asking for, which I’d think would be a good thing.

        1. Trixie

          I think so because its word for word, and not because it makes the sentence better. It would make me question her skills as a writer and how she analyzes what she’s read or been instructed to do.

          She could stick with her examples of how well she performed the responsibilities mentioned in the ad. “In my X role, I was tasked with managing the urgent situations within my department that often arose throughout the day, such as [example of a specific situation]. As a result I refined my ability to prioritize and accomplish my responsibilities.”

  7. BethRA

    I don’t mind it IF, as OP did in her example, the candidate specifically ties the reference to their skill set and work experience. Don’t tell me you are able to balance multiple priorities, unless you also tell me that at X position you handled projects for Y people, etc.

  8. AH

    I think it depends – there’s a large employer in my area that is known for using a tracking software. If you don’t enter in certain keywords from the job posting, your resume will never get looked at no matter how qualified you may be. That said, I don’t think this is normal. Smaller and mid-size companies can’t afford that kind o thing.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Lots of companies use tracking and screening software, of course. But any halfway competent screener is going to put in enough keywords that they’re not going to be screening someone out who didn’t pick exactly the right one. The link I posted above goes into more detail about this.

      1. L. Lankin

        The link you posted is over five years old, and much has changed since then. Companies of all sizes have gotten overwhelmed by applications from people with no business applying for the jobs posted, and many have been pressured to use applicant tracking systems (ATS). Human screeners never get to see the resumes that the ATS rejected. If the ATS is looking for “New Product Development” and the resume has multiple instances of “New Product Introduction,” two usually interchangeable names, sorry, that’s not a match! The ATS has NO competency, other than word matching and counting.

        That said, you don’t want to copy whole sections/sentences from the company text, but it’s a best practice to use their vocabulary.

        1. Joey

          Oh please. show me someone that only mines for the key words listed in a job posting and I’ll show you either a sucky 3rd party recruiter or a crappy and lazy hiring manager at a company that doesn’t care.

          Fwiw I’ve used many ATS’s and while it’s possible to search for key words that’s usuaally a last resort. As in, I already looked at resumes and want to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

        2. Ask a Manager Post author

          It’s not about whether a company is using an ATS or not; of course many, many do. The point is that only the worst screener in the world would screen using only the words from the job posting; that’s the point that’s being made in the article I linked to. (See her point #3 in the article.)

          1. Anx

            I don’t think they’d have to be the worst screener in the world, or even a bad screener.

            If you are inundated with applications, and you are finding a glut of perfectly qualified applicants to set up interviews with a cursory keyword search or through the software’s filters, I think it’s pretty reasonable to just move forward immediately, since there are still may be 100s of applications to read through.

            1. Nan

              I’m a near daily ATS user. That’s not how it works. You look through everyone because you want to be sure you’re talking to the best.

              1. Anx

                I’ve had someone tell me there’s just no way to read the applications of thousands of applicants and that it helps reduce the work load.

                Hats off to you. I can’t imagine reading hundreds of applications for a single position and trying to make heads or tails of them. I suppose when you do it professionally you must develop a system.

      2. Susan

        What is true is the applicant loses a point for each keyword missed. To me it’s better to play it safe and be ranked higher in the ATS.

        1. Nan

          That’s actually not true. It’s bizarre that the commenters here who actually hire are explaining how this works and people who don’t hire are insisting they know otherwise.

          1. Susan

            Perhaps different ats systems operate differently. I was shown a screen shot of one of them in an hr class that showed thepoint system and the speaker was a hiring manager who said this.

            How would you deal with 100 applications for one job if not using key words?

            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              100 applications is actually nothing! 200-300 per opening is typical in my experience, and I go through all of those pretty quickly with no ATS at all. It’s actually pretty straightforward once you’re used to it.

  9. Amanda

    I was taught not to parrot the language from the job ad, but to make sure that you hit the high points from the job ad in your cover letter. If they’re looking for someone with attention to detail, I make sure there’s something demonstrating that in my cover letter. If they’re looking for someone who can work independently, I make sure I describe how I’ve done that. I don’t directly use the language but I will occasionally use a word or two to make it clear. It’s all about writing it in a way that flows and doesn’t seem mechanical. It seems to have worked well for me so far.

  10. summercamper

    I think your impulse of wanting to reflect your the job posting in your cover letter is good – it’s just a matter of finding the fine line between reflecting and parroting.

    In my opinion, what you’ve written is pretty good. If it were me, I would change the last little bit, though. Instead of writing “even within an environment prone to emergencies” I might write something like “even when there are lots of urgent interruptions.” That way, you’re still reflecting the language of the job add without copying it completely. Just be careful – too much of this replacement and it will start to look like you got a little thesaurus-happy.

    A different approach would be to write about the job requirements in a more casual fashion. In this example, it might look something like – “I really enjoy working in fast-paced environments where I have to juggle multiple responsibilities. After a few years of working in ______, I understand how to manage my workload so that I’m ready to pitch in when there’s an all-hands-on-deck situation.”

    Of course, depending on the formality of the letter you need to write, language like this may or may not be appropriate – you’ll have to consider that one carefully.

    1. gr8 candidate

      I was scanning quickly through posts and saw this one, reading “where I have to juggle multiple responsibilities” as “where I have to juggle multiple personalities…” HA!!! Been there, done that!

  11. EmilyG

    Lazy? Maybe even unethical. The OP’s example strikes me as being perilously close to plagiarism, which would make me question a candidate’s academic credentials and is, in my experience, hugely frowned upon in any level of an academic organization. The part of AAM’s answer asking whether the wording is something you might have come up with on your own seems just right to me. “I work closely with vendors” is a phrase anyone could use, “within an environment prone to emergencies” probably isn’t. I wouldn’t be at all impressed by someone who did this.

    1. KerryOwl

      I think “unethical” is a bridge too far. She’s not using the language from another person’s cover letter, she’s using language from the posting herself — it’s pretty obvious that’s she’s not trying to trick anyone into believing she came up with those words herself.

      1. EmilyG

        I’m not sure that makes a difference. In an academic paper, would you get away with using wording from the textbook instead of another student’s paper? Unlikely. Now, I work in a world that takes this more seriously than other employers might, but it’s really not that hard to use your own words. I wouldn’t throw out an application that did this just once, but if our own words from a job posting appeared peppered through a cover letter, I’d question the candidate’s understanding of business norms and ability to write.

          1. EmilyG

            Fair enough–I think in academia, plagiarism is seen as a cardinal sin but you’re right that if the *reader* is the person you borrowed from, you’re not misrepresenting in the same way.

            1. Susan

              I disagree. Applicant tracking systems exist to weed out those who don’t use the key words of the employer.

                1. Susan

                  I’m curious; have you used an ATS or worked closely with someone who has? I am basing my knowledge on someone who worked in HR and worked with ATS systems. Maybe I am wrong; it would be helpful to know where you’re coming from.

                2. Ask a Manager Post author

                  Yes, I’ve used ATS’s (for clients; I’d never choose to use one on my own — I actually find them less efficient). As Joey says, while you can search by key words, it’s not usually the primary way you’d be looking through applications.

  12. Adam

    This reminds me of the early on job advice I got about including industry buzzwords on my resume and cover letters and how they were necessary to get the hiring manager’s attention. From reading this blog I’ve largely gathered that wasn’t exactly the best advice but it still pops up in my head from time to time…

  13. Sue

    Wow, I am job searching now and have been striving to mirror language in the job posting! I even go so far as to say, as mentioned in the job posting… and do the same thing as the OP! No one has complained or brought this to my attention though, and I am getting interviews. I think I am coming from a good place, but perhaps I can change my approach in that I should be striving to catch onto more subtle language preference, as stated above. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with repeating, say, one phrase though, to indicate that I’m being responsive to the job posting.

    1. Francie

      I’d actually find it less troublesome if you’re pointing out that you’re pulling from the job posting. As a human who reads every resume/cover letter, when a lot of resumes are trying to use the same words as the posting, they end up bleeding together with each and/or sounding lazy because they’re taking wording directly from the posting.

      Not to mention, if I’m looking for someone with an “ability to work in an environment prone to emergencies,” I’d rather see examples of what that’s looked like for the applicant in the past, rather than the phrase itself. The phrase itself shows me you read the posting (don’t get me wrong, that still puts you in the top of the applicant pool), but examples of how you’ve done that in a job tell me whether your idea of that kind of situation matches with mine.

  14. JenC

    Wow. My company works as a consultant for local governments, organizations, etc. so we prepare proposals with cover letters and go on interviews for jobs. I have been shocked at the number of times we showed up for an interview and the client or committee had no idea what was in the RFP–to the point that they asked a lot of questions and spent a lot of time steering the conversation outside of the bounds of the RFP.

    Consequently, I started mirroring the language in the job postings when I sporadically look for jobs. I just assumed that hiring managers are comparing cover letters and resumes to each other more than they are comparing them to a checklist or job posting. My thinking was that maybe the hiring manager didn’t even create the job posting. But if someone identified, say, fast-paced teapot design, in the job posting, then I should definitely identify that skill specifically somewhere.

    Now I’m wondering if that is wrong. I don’t have any involvement with hiring at my office so I don’t know how it works here (or anywhere else).

  15. Artemesia

    What would you think of a cover letter which had a phrase like ‘you are looking for someone who works well in an environment prone to emergencies; this is something I have a lot of experience with. For example, xxxxxxx

  16. Original Poster

    Thank you Alison for answering my question!

    Everyone’s comments have been helpful so far. My gut was telling me that I should avoid using the wording from the job ad, but I wasn’t sure why so it is nice to have it laid out here. I did it in one cover letter (only using one particular wording from the job ad) and didn’t hear back. I should note that I am writing cover letters in my second language which I have a great grasp of, but still, it isn’t at the level of a native speaker so sometimes I have trouble coming up with something that sounds as great as in the ad! That may be all the more reason to prove that I can write professionally (and originally) in that language though.

    Anyway, I will avoid doing this from now on. And thanks once again Alison, your website has been really helpful. I had two interviews this week and though neither worked out, it does give me hope!

  17. KayDay

    *slams head into desk*
    but this is what my career center told me to do :(
    (obviously my career center meant to do it only when that language actually applied to you.)
    That said, I did this mainly when applying to my first job out of college, “tailoring” my resume meant completely re-writing it because I was drawing on such a wide variety of different experiences (sorry, I honestly didn’t mean for that to sound so humble-braggy…I just mean pt jobs serving iced soy chai lattes and volunteer work picking up trash and that semi-leadership position in that club I was in). Now that real field-related jobs, my resume doesn’t change much. But I would have never said “planned logistics for expert roundtable” when I was in college, so using the jd as a guide to figure out what experiences and accomplishments were relevant and what exactly what language to use to describe them was helpful.

    But I’ll definitely be more careful about not parroting too much in the future. KayDay want a cracker. KayDay want a cracker. squawk.

    1. Revanche

      *cackle* honestly I always give the obvious novices a little bit of a pass on this sort of thing IF they also included useful information. Later, if I hire them, I would give them some feedback just for future reference.

  18. Revanche

    Half the applications I’ve been include cover letters that parrot the entire job ad and tell me NOTHING about their relevant experience or why what experience or skills they have relevant. Then the resume, maybe assuming that the cover letter has already covered the highlights by telling me exactly what I asked for, doesn’t tell me anything helpful… it’s been really frustrating because they’ve now made themselves look practically exactly like everyone else.
    The useful cover letters haven’t even been very well written, they’ve just told me the actual information that I needed to know: what useful experience they’ve had that’s got anything to do with the posted job! They don’t even try to sell me and that’s fine – all I want to know is if they read the posting and actually understand it, and if they have relevant experience. I’m not advocating poor writing or composition :) Just saying that the substance far outweighs the gimmick of trying to hit keywords.

    1. Trixie

      It sounds like they’re desperate to fill the white space, looking for word count more than anything. I see this a lot on Linked In too, so much noise its hard to find the real content.

      1. Revanche

        Yeah, sometimes it looks like it’s an attempt to fill white noise, the rest of the time all they do is copy all the key phrases in the job application and sign their names. Either way…!

        I beg of all applicants to use simple, declarative sentences to tell me why they could be a good fit with regards to their work skills and experience and leave the graphics, graphs, and lyrics out of it.

  19. Marilyn

    The discussion above (especially the concerns about ATS) makes me curious what hiring managers think about “T-Style” cover letters. (Here is a link for those who are unfamiliar: http://info.theladders.com/t-format-cover-letter-job-applications ) It would seem that this style allows the candidate to use exact language from the job post to alleviate keyword concerns. Plus it would might give the hiring manager a clearer picture of how the candidate’s skills and qualifications match up to the requirements of the position.

    I am currently trying to change careers and just started my job search. I thought using a T-style letter might help me highlight my translatable skills and experience, especially when a potential employer might not know enough about my previous field to be able to quickly pick up those points from my resume. However, I have a few reservations about using this style, so I’m interested to learn what hiring managers think!

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I’m not a fan. Spelling it out in a chart to me feels a little unsophisticated; I’d rather see how you communicate in a traditional letter … but I’m sure there are other hiring managers who like it.

      1. Marilyn

        That was my concern as well. The format doesn’t seem to do much to showcase one’s writing ability.

  20. AussieManager

    I think I would actually prefer someone to parrot my ad back at me. At least it would show they a) read the ad, b) are trying to link what is in the ad to their skill set rather than send me their resume with no tailoring or addressing my specific problem I am trying to solve by hiring them.

  21. Janet Crum

    One of my favorite cover letters from a job applicant used the language from the posting in headers, then described her applicable experience in each of the resulting sections. It was for an academic job, so the cover letter could be fairly lengthy (I don’t think you’d want to divide a one-page letter into sections). As a hiring manager, I found it very helpful, because it was very easy to see that she met the various requirements. I used that format the next time I applied for a position and was successful. Another approach–one that would work for shorter cover letters–would be to devote a short paragraph to each of the major areas mentioned in the position description, and make it clear from the opening sentence which area you are addressing.

      1. Andy

        ohai! it’s been 4days and this is the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing a new post. no Sunday open thread. I thought you had disappeared. Are my intertubes broken? Are there new posts that I’m not seeing? Doesn’t matter, akshully. You’ll get to it when you get to it. no pressure.
        (I used to follow a fitness blogger who dropped off and I found out later she’d been in l’hopital. It’s blog-related PTSD)

          1. Andy

            thank you for that. all better now. this was the only site I had to force-refresh, but that worked and you’re obvs not lying in a ditch somewhere just waiting for me to notice that you’re not posting.

          2. shay

            I am getting the same error, but only on my Android phone with Google Chrome. Root site routes me to what looks like askamanager.org (nothing like /page/3 or something appended) and the latest posts are from Oct. 17. It must be a mobile routing issue?

  22. Keri

    I’m in a very technical field and I find that unless I use the exact keywords from the job description the HR people don’t have a clue. I only use the exact words if I have that exact experience. I’ve been very successful with this approach and made a six figure career landing jobs online (without any networking).

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