What is a Targeted Resume?

B. Miller

A targeted resume is a resume that is written specifically to the job to which one is applying. This means that the skills, experience, and education that makes an individual qualified for a certain job will be placed first and foremost on the resume, rather than a standard resume in which one's education and work history are listed in a fairly straightforward manner. A targeted resume can be a good way to make a resume stand out over others, especially if an individual is particularly qualified for a job that he or she is applying for, and wants to make that immediately known to the hiring manager or person doing the recruiting for the job.

A resume.
A resume.

There are many reasons to write a targeted resume. The first is the most important; it immediately makes a candidate more noticeable and, ideally, more appealing. Highlighting the important skills and experience first makes a hiring manager more likely to read the rest of the resume and at the very least place a phone call for a future interview. The resume can then be saved and tweaked for any future jobs that come up that are similar to the one to which one first applied. Some people also choose to write a brief goal statement and include it with the resume to illustrate that he or she is focused on a long term career in the field.

A targeted cover letter should always accompany a targeted resume and application.
A targeted cover letter should always accompany a targeted resume and application.

The key to a targeted resume is to keep it brief and to the point. The skills and qualifications may be listed in bullet point format, or they may be written in the form of a paragraph. If one chooses to use a paragraph format, it should be kept to one paragraph, and the entire resume should not be more than one or two pages. If the paragraph gets too lengthy, switching it to a more easily digestible bulleted list is often a better choice, because the hiring manager is most likely to be skimming over the resumes anyway.

This is especially true if the targeted resume is attached to a cover letter, which it should be in most cases. For people who have varied types of experience and skills, different targeted resumes can and should be created for different job applications. Be sure to also include information such as current address and contact information, as well as references if requested. A professional looking, grammatically correct, succinct resume that does a great job of highlighting desirable skills is one of the best tools at one's disposal in order to get hired for a job.

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