Targeted Resume (Customized Resume)


The term targeted resume refers to a document that is created in response to a specific job opening.  While creating a targeted resume is more time consuming, it does provide the candidate with a greater chance of being selected for a job interview.


Also known as a customized resume, a targeted resume is constructed in response to a specific job posting.  A targeted resume ensures all of the qualifications and on-the-job experience appearing in the job description also appear on the resume submitted to the company for their consideration.  Since the document needs to be tailored to each job posting, customized resumes require more effort on the writer's behalf.  However, a well-written document should provide the job hunter with a higher response rate too.

Creating a targeted document doesn't mean the writer starts with a blank sheet of paper each time they write their resume.  The best approach involves starting with a core set of information that will appear on all resumes, then customizing the document as outlined in the steps below:

  1. Core Resume:  the first step is to create a resume that contains information that will remain the same, regardless of the job posting.  This includes education, prior employers (work history), as well as the skillsets possessed.
  2. Research:  the next step the resume writer should take is to thoroughly research job openings.  Here the writer should narrow the field by selecting postings that match their background.  For example, a writer should discard those openings that require the applicant to hold a Master's degree if the highest level of their education is a Bachelor's.
  3. Customization:  at this point, the job hunter should only be working with those openings with job requirements that match their background and experience.  Each job posting is now carefully examined to identify the skills and experience that appear as part of the job description.  Finally, the core resume is customized to ensure the key words, skills, and experience found on the job posting match the written document.

Related Terms

chronological resume, functional resume, combination resume, cover letter, letter of inquiry