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Why Writing Targeted Resumes is More Critical Than You Think


9/12/2011 4:48:36 PM

What Happens After You Submit Your Resume? By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

When applying for a job, you are immediately handed the responsibility of proving you’re the best candidate, which can be challenging if you can’t provide examples showing that this is indeed a fact. A great way to show your worth is by focusing on what the employer needs most from the candidate who will fill the position, then writing a targeted resume that addresses those needs specifically.

Targeting Your Resume Proves You Are the Best Fit for the Position

Employers absolutely need to know that the candidate they choose for a job is the best fit, which they do by confirming that a candidate’s past accomplishments and current skill set fall in line with the important day-to-day tasks and overarching goals of the position.

If you write a generic resume that doesn’t take into account the specific needs of the company or showcase your professional capabilities, you are failing to prove that you are right for the position. Unfortunately, another candidate would be more than happy to pick up your slack—and take your job while they’re at it.

How Can You Ensure Your Resume Is Targeted?

So how can you create that targeted resume that will show the employer that you deserve the interview?

1. Research the company and position: A great way to target your resume is to dig in and learn about the company and what the employer wants from its candidates. Once you acquire this information, you will be armed with specifics that can help you determine what contributions you can make to the company.

2. Customize a job target/title, branding statement, and career summary: Instead of writing a bland objective statement, place a job target/title at the top of your resume that defines who you are as a professional. Also, create a branding statement (a one- or two-line statement that sums up the value you can offer each employer based upon their needs and how you can meet them) that is customized to the specific job. Then write a career summary (most commonly a bullet point list that shares your career highlights) listing accomplishments most pertinent to the position at the top.

3. Utilize keywords throughout: It’s also important to utilize specific keywords in your resume. For example, if you are applying as an executive chef in the hospitality industry, you might incorporate keyword phrases like “menu planning”, “kitchen equipment”, “banquet meal production”, and “procurement of food supplies” as indicators of your knowledge of the field. Keywords should be used in your job target/title, branding statement, career summary, and most other sections in your resume.

Targeting your resumes requires a bit more effort but offers a lot in return. By taking time to tailor resumes for each company to which you apply, you give them no doubt that you are the best person for the job.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

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