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Targeting your resume is the most effective way to get a positive response from an employer after you submit your resume.  Make sure you are taking key words and phrases from the job description and incorporating them into your resume.  Here are 5 tips for targeting your resume to get better results and obtain more interviews:

  1. Do your research. It is often said that you should research a company before walking into an interview, but you should also do similar research when targeting your resume. View the company’s website, read articles about the company, and ask people you know who work for the organization about what the culture, mission, and values are like.  You can then incorporate some of these key terms into your career profile (or summary) and your cover letter.
  2. Be very critical of the job description. Someone has taken the time to meticulously craft a detailed job description – and they’ve done that for a reason. Extremely detailed job descriptions typically mean that employers are only interested in finding ideal fits for the job. If your resume doesn’t contain many (or all) of the more technical items in the job description, your resume isn’t even making it to someone’s desk – it’s getting lost in the applicant tracking system (ATS). A resume lost in an ATS is like trying to find a sock that was lost in the dryer.
  3. Ensure that the exact job title you are pursuing or applying for is at the top of your resume. This not only helps the employer identify what you are applying for, but shows that you are crafting the resume for them; adding an extra, personal touch.
  4. Investigate and find the contact person for the job that you are interested in. This may include asking your contact who works at your target company or finding the hiring manager or HR representative on LinkedIn or the company webpage. What good is a targeted resume if it doesn’t get into the right hands?
  5. Be perfect. Ok, this isn’t a tip specifically related to targeting resumes, but resumes altogether. You can do all the proper research, pull skills from the job description, and even put it straight into the hiring manager’s hands; but if your resume has grammatical, punctuation, and formatting errors, you will be dismissed as a viable candidate.

It is not only suggested that you target your resume, it is REQUIRED if you want to get a better response.  Take the time to review all relevant information to create the best possible resume that positions you well to get an interview.  Good luck!


By Wayne Williams, CPRW