A targeted resume can win you interviews and help you to land that job!
If you're one of the many job seekers who relies on the same resume for every job application, then you may be wondering why you're not landing the interviews you need. After all, that master resume includes all of your best skills, work experience, and educational achievements – so why aren't employers jumping at the chance to talk to you about their positions? The answer to that question is simple: you're not using the targeted resume that employers want to see.
In this post, we'll explain what a targeted resume is designed to do and examine its many benefits for job seekers. In addition, we'll offer some helpful tips that can help you to learn how to write a targeted resume that will increase your odds of landing an interview.
What is a targeted resume?
So, what does “targeted resume” mean, anyway? What's the best definition of a targeted resume? When you create a targeted resume, you simply tailor your master resume in a way that focuses on the specific job that you're applying to. Instead of being just a generic document that highlights all of your qualifications for any possible job, the targeted resume is designed to showcase the experiences and skills that make you the best candidate for a very specific open position.
To achieve that targeted approach, your tailored resume needs to be aligned with the job description, properly keyword-optimized, and focused on the skills and experience most relevant to that position. When you can achieve those three goals and ensure that your resume is optimized to satisfy any applicant tracking system, you can create a resume that effectively targets the position you're seeking by demonstrating that you have the qualifications to fill that role.
Why do targeted resumes work?
There are many reasons why targeted resumes can be the most effective way to catch a hiring manager's attention. For example, just consider the sheer volume of resumes that many employers have to wade through to identify potential candidates for a position. Without a targeted approach, your resume can easily get lost among all the other broad, generic resumes that get submitted. By targeting your resume to the employer's open position, you can:
Demonstrate that you're focused on the open position, and not just seeking any job that might be available
Increase the likelihood that your resume will stand out from the crowd
Showcase the exact skills and experience that the employer is seeking
Boost your chances of receiving an invite to interview
When is a targeted resume not advantageous?
Of course, it's also important to understand that a targeted resume may not always work to your advantage. For instance, if your work experience and skills do not directly align with the job's requirements, it may be difficult to create a viable resume that properly targets that position. In addition, a targeted resume is unlikely to be compelling if it looks like you simply copied elements of the job description.
Tips for writing a targeted resume
When you're learning how to make a targeted resume, it's important to simplify the process as much as possible. The following tips can help:
1. Create your master resume
Since you won't want to completely start from scratch every time you need a targeted resume, it is important to begin with a more comprehensive master resume. This resume should include all of your skills, achievements, and educational accomplishments. You can then tailor this template to create your targeted resume whenever you apply for a job.
2. Break down the job description
Pore over the job description to identify all of the relevant skills and other requirements that you need to meet the position's expectations. As you do so, highlight important keywords and phrases that you can later include in your resume as you tailor it to fit the job.
3. Select the relevant information from your master resume
Now that you know which skills and other qualifications the employer wants to see, you can start tailoring your resume to target that position. Simply choose all of the job experiences and skills that meet those requirements and remove information that has no relevance for the position. This will ensure that your resume highlights the most vital details that showcase you as the best candidate for the job.
4. Insert relevant keywords from the job description
Remember those keywords that you highlighted in the job description? Start inserting them organically throughout your resume. This will help to ensure that the hiring manager can easily confirm your qualifications, while also increasing the chances that your resume satisfies any applicant tracking system the company might be using. This is critically important if you want to ensure that your resume gets the attention it needs to secure an interview.
5. Revise your resume summary
Don't forget to tailor your resume summary to ensure that its message focuses on selling you as the most qualified candidate for the position you're seeking. Since this is the first thing that most hiring managers read, you'll want to highlight the most relevant skills, as well as achievements that showcase your value.
Land that interview
In a competitive job-seeking environment, it's not enough to rely on generic, all-encompassing resumes when you're trying to land interviews. Fortunately, you can increase your odds of securing an interview by taking the time to tailor your resume to target the open position you desire. By learning how to write a targeted resume that focuses on your desired industry and job, you can create a more compelling and tailored narrative that will make the best possible first impression on prospective employers.
Need help ensuring that your targeted resume is sending the right message to employers? Get a free resume review from our team of experts today.