Targeted Resumes - 5 Steps To Writing A Targeted Resume
© David Alan
All Rights Reserved
Back in the olden days (i.e., before the Internet made job searches both heavenly and
hellish at the same time), resumes were more often than not a "one size fits all" document. A job seeker would
write one basic document, and apply it to every opportunity that cane down the pike.
Try that today, in the worst economy in decades, and be prepared to stay in the unemployment
line for years. Everything has changed, including the way companies screen and select candidates and – out of
necessity – the way candidates approach the job market. In an age where a job posted online can generate thousands
of resume responses, your only chance is for your document to quickly convince the reader that you are the perfect
fit for this particular job. Not a close fit. Not a maybe fit. A perfect fit. How do you do that? By
writing a targeted resume.
A Targeted Resume Is A Resume Built For A Single Mission
The good news is that nothing will get you closer to the interview than a targeted resume.
The bad news is that you're out time and energy if that call for an interview never comes, because a targeted
resume is only good for a shot at one specific job. Still, in this tough economy, that's a sacrifice and a gamble
that a serious job seeker is simply going to have to make.
5 Steps To Writing A Targeted Resume
1) Begin with a master, or "core" resume. I say resume loosely
because this core should include everything about your professional life that you can think of, including the
kitchen sink – every competency that you could possibly attribute to yourself, every accomplishment no matter how
small, etc. No one will ever see this resume, but you. Make it as long as your thoughts require. This is
the written representation of the initial brainstorming that every resume writer must go through. But in this case,
you're going to format these voluminous notes into some semblance of a resume – only this resume will never see the
light of day. This will be the "well" that you will draw from when crafting target "spinoff" resumes.
2) Identify a specific job opening to which you wish to apply. Be it a
word-of-mouth opening or a listing in a popular job bank, research and gather all the information you can about the
position and the company behind the job.
3) Craft the targeted resume. Here's how. First, cut a copy of that core
resume, leaving the original core intact for another day and another targeted resume. Now, working with your core
copy, lift the job title in question and stick it right into your resume objective. Take the job description and
weave it into your profile or summary section. You can do this verbatim, using the exact words as those in the job
ad, or you can adjust those words slightly using similar (very similar) synonyms and such. Comb through
your work history; delete irrelevant information and highlight relevant responsibilities and
4) Don't forget a targeted cover letter. Approach the letter in the same
general manner that you crafted the resume, lifting whole phrases from the job's requirements and weaving them into
statements of your qualifications.
5) Follow the company's resume submission instructions to a tee.
The idea behind a targeted resume is to perfectly align your skill set and abilities with
those demanded of a particular job. All of this presumes, of course, that you're a good match for the job in
question. The closer you can get to that perfect alignment, the better your odds of getting that call for an
interview. If you keep your core resume handy and updated, and plan a campaign around targeted "spinoff" resumes,
you'll be outpacing the lion's share of your competitors.
Tip: A Good Resume Builder Can Help With A Targeted Resume Campaign
If you're looking to do all this yourself, consider a resume builder that can keep your
"core" resume and all your targeted spinoffs organized and right at hand when you need them – like when you get
called in for an interview.
Of the resume builders we've reviewed, two stand out for their superior capabilities when it
comes to targeted resume tools. Here they are, in order of their star ranking...
We particularly like Pongo for its ease of use and intuitive interface. Pongo offers a
multitude of features that directly assist a targeted resume campaign -- like resume tracking. And Easy Job is
right on Pongo's heels as a close second. Read our in-depth review of either or both, and decide if one
is right for you. Otherwise, consider putting the whole project in the hands of one of the professional resume writing services that we review on our home page.
Best of luck.
David Alan Carter is a former headhunter and the founder of Resume One
of Cincinnati. For more than ten years, he personally crafted thousands of resumes for satisfied clients from all
occupational walks of life -- entry level to executive.
Back To Top
Go to our Home Page, Best Resume Services