When you write a resume, you’re hoping to get responses to it. However, it can be difficult to give hiring managers exactly what they’re looking for, especially if you’re not sure how to do so. The best way to ensure you’re showcasing exactly what a hiring manager wants to see in your resume is to use targeted resume formatting. Here’s how you can use a targeted resume to reach out more effectively to potential employers with your professional resume.
A targeted resume is any resume that is tailored for a specific position. In most cases, it will be a resume that intentionally includes important keywords that a hiring manager is looking for in their ideal candidate. It’s considered “targeted” because you’re intentionally creating a resume that looks best for a specific job opening. This is the opposite of a generic resume, which is a resume that doesn’t have any targeting for any job application in particular.
A targeted resume is best for two important reasons. First of all, targeted resumes are more effective. A hiring manager can generally determine whether your resume and cover letter were written specifically for a certain job posting or whether they’re just a generic resume sample that was written in response to a job ad. If you want to impress a hiring manager with your work history and important skills, you’ll want to ensure your resume is targeted.
The second reason to write a targeted resume is that it is much more effective when it comes to an applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS varies based on the particular job you’re looking for and the recruiter who’s looking for an applicant to fill the position. That means the recruiter is usually going to be the one implementing resume keywords for the position, and most of the time, they’ll use keywords from the job posting. If you want your resume to make it to the hiring manager’s eyes, you’ll want to write a targeted resume.
Writing a targeted resume doesn’t have to be difficult. You can write the best resume for a specific position with three simple steps.
The first step is to write a general resume, sometimes known as a generic resume. This is a non-targeted resume and is just a resume that you would use for any job search. Include all of the positions you’ve held in relevant jobs in your experience section, a generalized skills section, a summary statement that states your key accomplishments, and personal elements like contact information. The idea is to create a blanket resume that you can then build on top of. You can use the ResumeNerd resume builder to help with this.
Next, go through the job description and look for resume keywords. There are many ways to do this. You can write down lists of different keywords you see in the description. These would be in the form of action verbs, hard skills, soft skills, and job titles. Label the keywords on a Word document, or even print out the job description and go through it with a highlighter. You want to see what skills, experience, and specific wording the job description is using so that you can replicate it.
The next step is to incorporate the keywords you’ve discovered and add them throughout your resume. Don’t just include them as skills. This tends to be seen as fairly beginner-level resume writing. Simply including bullet points with keywords for a new job might not be an effective way to show off your skills. Instead, add keywords to job descriptions, skills lists, and resume summaries.
There are many types of resume formats, and you can write a targeted resume with any of them. The most common resume template is a chronological resume, which emphasizes your work history. However, the functional resume format, which emphasizes your skills, is another resume format that may be effective for people without a lot of work history. You can target either of these resume formats.
If you don’t have a lot of work experience to use while writing your targeted resume, you may instead be able to include these resume keywords in your skills section and other areas of your resume, including your education section and your resume summary or resume objective. Additionally, if you have any internship or volunteer work, you can include keywords in those descriptions as well.
Yes. Targeted resume examples are fairly common. If you want to base your resume against targeted resume examples, you need some options to choose from. ResumeNerd has an entire resume examples section, which you can go to if you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to writing your resume.