Your first example is the correct way, the second would not improve things at all, and might make things worse.
Personally, I disagree with Welbog's answer, primarily on the account that if keywords were no longer relevant, why do things like Google Webmaster Tools cater for them? I suspect that there might have been some confusion with meta description tag, which did go out of favour for some time a while ago, but does appear to be coming back into fashion.
When optimizing individual pages, title, keywords and description tags are all important, as are long tail URL strings and directory names, but don't abuse them. Also, you can make clever use of the author and copyright tags by rewording your company name or title in them again.
It is possible to find good and bad reasons to use/not use any tag. What you will find though is generally the following. Those that suggest a tag is not needed are invariably selling a link program or PPC type thing. Those that use them and take the time to use them inventively without breaking the rules will charge more up front, but, the long term benefits will be huge.