The Benefits of Writing a Targeted Resume This Year

A targeted resume shows hiring managers your most relevant skills and certifications. Here’s how you go about writing one.

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin 3 minute read

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Targeted Resume Example

When you first start writing your resume, you may assume that there’s a single best resume you can write for every job application. You might find a great resume template, write a resume, then send it into numerous jobs. However, you’re unlikely to hear back from any of them. What happened? Is your resume not good enough? It’s likely because you didn’t target your resume. Here’s how you can get a new job more effectively with a targeted resume.

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What Is a Targeted Resume?

A targeted resume is a resume that’s targeted toward a very particular job. It’s a resume that pulls directly from the job description to highlight skills and knowledge that are relevant to the specific job you’re looking for. Essentially, a targeted resume presents the exact person that the hiring manager is looking for. It’s not about lying or misrepresenting yourself but instead about highlighting the elements of your skills a specific recruiter wants to hire.

Why You Should Write a Targeted Resume

Why is a targeted resume so important? The first element is simply because it personalizes the resume to the job description. A potential employer wants to see that you’re the ideal candidate, and you can get closer to that job opening by reflecting the skills and experience that a specific position requests.

This personalization means that you have a higher chance of getting an interview. Often, a hiring manager will read through your professional resume quickly to see whether your skills section, work history and other bullet points accurately match what they’re looking for. If they don’t, a recruiter will more likely pass you over in favor of a job seeker who meets the job posting a little more.

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How To Write a Targeted Resume

Writing a targeted resume is not that difficult. Just follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Write a generic resume.

The first step is to write a general resume. Think of a general resume as a basic template you can use for your job search.

First, you’ll decide on your resume format. This includes the chronological resume, functional resume, and combination resume. The format you choose will depend on how much work history is in your experience section and what you want to highlight.

From there, go through your work history and skills and write a general resume. You can use resume examples in your field to help you with the resume writing process. These resume samples can help you understand what works in a specific job field.

Once you’re done with this, you’ll have a basic resume that’s ready to be customized for specific employers.

Step 2: Go through the job description and pick out keywords.

Next, find a job ad that you’re interested in. Read through the ad, looking for any and all resume keywords. These are important keywords that give you more insight into what the job wants from you. These keywords may include hard skills, soft skills, action verbs, certain experiences, and certain types of previous experience.

You may want to actively write down all the keywords that you can see in the job description. This way, it’s easier for you to tell you’ve covered all the necessary keywords.

Step 3: Include those keywords throughout your resume.

The last step is to go back into your resume and incorporate these keywords throughout. Don’t just include keywords in your skills section. Instead, go through elements like your resume summary statement, previous job titles, and education section, and use keywords where appropriate.

The ResumeHelp resume builder can help you create a resume that’s tailored for different jobs, changing things up as necessary. You can even change up the resume design to make your resume fit more effectively with each job you apply to.

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FAQ: Targeted Resume

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Functional resumes, chronological resumes, and combination resumes are the three most common resume formats. Following the tips will allow you to write a good targeted resume in all three resume formats.

If you have absolutely no work experience, you can still target your resume to a job posting. Just focus on skills and academic accomplishments. Additionally, you’ll want to communicate how you can fit the position in your cover letter, and explain why your resume now has the right skills and knowledge for you to get the job you’re looking for.

Yes. The ResumeHelp website includes resume examples from real people who have created resumes that they’ve submitted in their search for a great job. Read through all of these to see what people have included about their skills and talents to give you ideas on how you can also target your resume.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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