In the digital age and with the speed and access of technology, employers are receiving more resumes than ever before. Now, you have a split second – if that – to make a first impression before the hiring manager is moving on to the next applicant’s resume. Writing a targeted resume ensures you have a better chance of standing out as the best person for a new job.

How to Write a Targeted Resume

  • Use Industry Buzzwords: Make sure your resume has key industry buzzwords so that your resume is searchable in Applicant Tracking Systems. Search the job description for clues on what those key words are. I strongly recommend investing in a resume writer; it can do wonders for your application.
  •  Tailor Your Resume: Most candidates have strengths in many different areas.  Some employers may not be looking for all your strong attributes. This is where tailoring your resume is important – The job description should fit your last one-to-five years of career experience. If you had the responsibilities of a role 10 years ago and haven’t done them since, chances are, it is not a match.
  •  Keep It Short: A typical resume should be between two and three pages. If you highlighted all of your experience, it would read like a book. Zoning in on the most prominent skills holds the fleeting attention of the hiring manager.
  • Target Your Applications: Rather than send your resume en masse to every open posting, carefully review the position. Focus your time and energy on opportunities that will yield the greatest positive result. At the same time, no applicant is a 100% fit, but if you have 75% of the skills a posting is searching for, I would encourage you to apply.

Recently, a friend asked for advice on his resume. He was an accomplished marketing professional, but when I reviewed the resume, I was surprised to see how unstructured it was. It lacked industry buzzwords, marketing accomplishments, and barely touched on his responsibilities. The content of his resume did not make him searchable for a marketing job. After my advice on tailoring his resume to fit industry-specific roles, he landed a role as a Marketing Director.


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