CV's, e-CV's, Keywords, CV database mining and IT contractors.

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Keywords in your CV - The single most important thing you should do to your CV!

There was a time when a well laid-out CV that didn't have any spelling or grammatical errors plus a handful of achievements and a well written cover letter, was all that was needed to secure that vital first interview. Well, that's no longer the case!

More and more employers are using job boards and recruitment site CV database search facilities to find candidates. If your CV doesn't include 'scannable' keywords and industry buzz words for your particular industry, your CV might not be found, despite the fact that you might be the best person for the job/contract.

The use of CV keywords has now become an essential part of good CV construction, especially in the ultra competitive contractor industry. In our experience, talking to contractors, it is no longer good enough just to have keywords buried within your CV, you need to be far more overt in your use of them.

How many CV's have you seen that have a 'keywords section'? It's such a simple idea but having a separate keyword section on your CV ensures recruiters and potential employers can find your skills and experience easily when data mining CV's.

Maximising Scannability

Use jargon and acronyms specific to your industry that you think recruiters may search under.

Question is how do you know what keywords to use?

Search online for example job descriptions and vacancies in the type of jobs you're interested in; talk to people in the industry and visit websites of the companies you'd like to work for. A simple method is to just type a few keywords into Google like "Java, Oracle, SAP, Cisco, online marketing, project manager etc and see what associated words come up.

Use the "Properties" feature in MS Word to boost the keyword searchability. This feature, found under Word's File menu, enables you to insert keywords, comments and a link to your web-based CV if you have one.

You can use the "Comments" field to enter geographic and relocation preferences.

For web based CV's use meta titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords.

Finally, what have you called your CV? I hope it's not - 'cv.doc'!

Imagine how many CV's agencies and employers receive called 'cv.doc'. Use your name and date as part of the file name for your e-cv. for example: rachelrymerCV281107.doc or even rachelrymer_CV_281107_javaprogrammer.doc

If you are thinking of becoming a contractor / freelancer or have any questions about working through your own limited company please call our New business team on 01442 275789 or e-mail

Further information
Have you downloaded SJD's Contractor Guides yet? If not, find below links to the key guides:

You may also find that these case studies make interesting further reading:

Becoming a Contractor - Moving from permanent employment to contracting
Thinking of contracting - A collection of contractor thoughts

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SJD Accountancy

SJD Accountancy are the UK's largest specialist provider of fixed fee, Limited company accountancy services to contractors; we've been acting for contractors across the UK since 1992 and have more than 15,000 clients.

We are the only national specialist firm of contractor accountants with offices nationwide. SJD Accountancy has more qualified staff than any other firm in our market with qualifications from the following major tax and accountancy bodies - ATT, AAT, CTA, ACCA, CA, ACA and FCCA.

  • Unlimited face to face meetings. This is a unique service only SJD Accountancy offers - unlimited face to face meetings across the UK - tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • UK's largest contractor accountants with more qualified staff. No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant face to face.
  • Our Customer Promise. Respond to any question sent to your accountant or any dedicated department within 24 hours.  If we need more time, we will update you as soon as we can and we promise to keep you informed of the progress we are making in answering your question.
  • Outstanding reputation. We have won more awards for customer service and accountancy excellence than any other firm in our market, including: Best Accountant for Contractors, Accountant of the Year and Best Professional Service Team to name just a few.
  • All inclusive low cost fixed fee accountancy package which includes completion of accounts*, payroll bureau, dividends and corporation tax computations, personal taxation, free bookkeeping software, your own dedicated accountant* and all company returns for a fixed fee starting from £120 plus VAT per month. Check our packages for more detail.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or email: Our new business team is open Monday to Thursday (8am to 8pm), Friday (8am to 7pm) and Saturday (10am to 4pm)

Appoint SJD Accountancy and never worry about your tax or accountancy affairs again.

Form your own limited company with SJD - our same day online company formation service includes company bank account set up, VAT/PAYE registration and advice on optimum share structure. 

You may also find the following pages, guides and case studies useful:

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of SJD for one year or have made 12 monthly payments. All accountants are part or fully qualified.