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How to Write a Targeted Resume

Targeted Resume Writing Tips and Samples


Portrait of business woman smiling
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A targeted resume is customized so that it specifically highlights the experience you have that is relevant to the job for which you are applying. It definitely takes more time to write a targeted resume, but it's worth the effort when you are applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.

How to Target Your Resume

The easiest way to target your resume (without rewriting the whole resume) is to include a Resume Summary of Qualifications, a Profile or Career Highlights section at the top of your resume.

Review the job description and then review your resume. Take the experience, credentials, and education that best match the job posting and include them in the Summary of Qualifications section at the top of your resume. Then list your experience in reverse chronological order, just like you would on a traditional resume.

Write a Custom Resume

Another option for customizing your resume is to edit your resume so your skills and experience are as close a match as possible to the job description or job ad requirements. Take the keywords used in the job posting and work them into your resume.

Sample Help Wanted Ad with Targeted Resume

The following is an example of a job posting, along with a sample resume written specifically to apply for that position. You can see how the resume writer made sure that her highlighted skills are exactly what the employer is seeking.

Sample Help Wanted Ad for Human Resources Manager
Recruit all exempt and non-exempt employees. Orient new employees to the organization. Design and implement staff training and development programs. Manage employee retention initiatives.

Administer all compensation, benefit, and state mandated programs including processing of enrollments, terminations, unemployment, and workers compensation claims. Responsible for compliance with state and federal labor laws. Serve as COBRA administrator for the company. Member of union contract negotiating and management team.

Human Resources Manager Targeted Resume Sample

The following is a sample resume targeted to the above job posting. As you can see the Summary of Qualifications closely correlates with the job posting.

Resume Summary of Qualifications

  • Experienced manager with expertise in human relations and project management
  • Extensive background in staff recruitment and retention
  • Staff training and development
  • Superb written and oral communication skills
  • Organizational and Strategic Planning
  • Management Coaching
  • Program Marketing
  • Contract negotiation and compliance
  • Knowledge of Federal and State Employment Law

Targeted Resume for Human Resources Manager Position
Review the complete targeted resume.

Targeted Cover Letters

In addition to targeting your resume, you will need to target your cover letter in a similar fashion. Again, take the skills that match the job criteria and highlight them. You will need to show the hiring manager that you're a qualified candidate. You will only have a few seconds to convince him that you should be considered for an interview.

Writing Targeted Cover Letters
How to write a targeted cover letter that will get your application noticed.

Sample Targeted Cover Letter
Review a sample targeted cover letter.

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