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How to Create a Targeted Résumé

Post Author Sarah Chatelain
Mar 12, 2014 10:00:00 AM
Career Tips

It’s already common practice to keep an updated résumé on file, but did you know that you might need more than one type? Depending on the variety of jobs that you apply for, you may need to create several distinctive versions that highlight specific aspects of your job experience. Some companies may place more value on a certain talent or capability, such as supervisory skills or a particular proficiency on the computer. Here are some tips for creating a targeted résumé that will help you capture the attention of an array of potential employers.


1. Assess what skills your potential employer will value

Closely read the job listing and make note of the required skills and experience desired. For example, if you are applying for a supervisory position, make sure that you emphasize any past managerial experience you have, noting all of the related tasks you were responsible for performing. How many employees did you supervise? How did you ensure that their tasks were completed in a timely manner? Did you compose the schedule? Previous experience in these areas is highly desirable in a supervisor candidate.

If you are applying for a position that is more hands-on, you should accentuate your expertise in the skills that are required. For example, if you are applying for a welding job, you need to provide the various types of welding that you have been certified to perform, such as TIG, MIG, or stick welding, and length of experience in each.

2. Drop in a key word or two from the company

Do a little research on the company that you are applying to and determine what its key words are. Every company has a few qualities or descriptive words that it continually uses and integrates into the workforce culture. Usually, you can find these words either in the job listing itself or by going to the company website and examining how it describes its environment to potential applicants. For example, if the company uses the word “fast-paced” as a description of its atmosphere, you can use words such as “dynamic” or “quickly adaptive” to market your ability to quickly meet its needs and integrate your talents into the team.

3. Pay attention to the format

If you are submitting your résumé by hand, make sure that your name is large and legible at the top of the page. If possible, print it on slightly thicker paper to prevent it from easily getting wrinkled, folded, or overlooked. In the event that you are submitting it electronically, check the listing thoroughly for any file format requirements. If you use a program or file type that the interviewer does not have, he or she might not be able to view your résumé. Usually, you can send the interviewer your resume directly as an attachment to an email, but you should also include a cover letter of introduction in the body of the email.  When naming the file you are going to attach, use your full name so it won’t get confused with other résumés and will be easy to find. 

While it may take a little more time, targeting your résumé to each individual company will be sure to make you stand out from the crowd.  In the competitive job marketplace of today, a few familiar keywords or accent on a much-needed skill can make a world of difference in your chances of being hired.   

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