Writing a Targeted Resume | Sarina Russo

Writing a Targeted Resume

By Sarina Russo Editorial Team

Cookie-cutter resumes are a thing of the past. To stand out from the crowd, it’s important your resume answers the recruiter’s major question; 'How will I benefit from employing this person?'

The quicker they can find this answer, the better. No one has time to sift through hundreds of resumes.

A targeted resume is a great way to do this. Targeted resumes are customized resumes made specifically for each job listing. They target key pieces of information in job listing descriptions and show recruiters what you can offer and why you would be a good fit for this role.

This resource will show you how to write a successful targeted resume.

How to write a targeted resume?

1. Find a job listing

Find a job listing specific to the industry you wish to work in. 

2. Gather information

Read the job listing and highlight keywords and pieces of information. This includes the company name, hiring manager’s name, job title, duties, experience, and sought-after skills.

Use the keywords in the job listing to tailor your resume to this specific job vacancy. Weave this information throughout your resume to ensure you are making a strong connection between your skills and the skills required for this job.

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3. Reword your opening statement

The opening statement is the first thing recruiters read. It should be brief (2-3 sentences) and tailored specifically for the job listing your applying for.

Think of it as a short sales pitch. This is where you tell the recruiter what you can offer and why you would be a good fit for this role

Using the highlighted information in their job listing, weave in the qualities, experience, and skills they are looking for.

Tip: If you are accepted for an interview, ensure you remember your opening statement. This is what the recruiter will be looking for when asked why you want to move into this field.

If you are stuck for inspiration, here are a few ideas:


Opening Statement Suggestion

Have completed (or are currently completing) a course of tertiary study and have had some formal (paid) work experience

If you are a graduate or a tertiary student with formal work experience you will be seen very positively by prospective employers. You will be able to demonstrate a developed understanding of the requirements of the professional work environment. You will also be able to show you have employability skills and personal attributes like time management, flexibility, and motivation.

Seeking graduate-level opportunity in a management consultancy firm

A personable and knowledgeable graduate with both a proven academic background and highly developed time-management skills stemming from ongoing casual employment while studying, undertaking internships and volunteer placements. Highly articulate and able to work confidently with diverse cultures, ultimately seeking an opportunity to start a professional career with the long-term aim of working as a management consultant. 


Mature individual seeking a career change

The following sales pitch suggestion addresses:

· The issue of change in professions

· Transitions to different industry

· Entering a new profession in a new industry.

You need to focus on your transferable skill set. Highlight the skills and experience you need to make that career move.

Mature job seeker looking to transition to a career in administration.

Well presented with exceptional customer service, administrative and clerical skills. Experienced in receiving guests and managing teams with diligence.  A motivated professional with strong organisational skills and attention to detail, currently looking for a suitable receptionist position with a progressive company.


4. Update key skills

Your resume should include a list of between 10 and 15 skills that link your abilities and qualities to the job you are applying for.

The job listing will provide a list of skills that are essential for doing the job. These skills will be highlighted in your gathered information.

Your list of key skills and strengths needs to respond to all the items on the essential list and as many items as possible on the desirable list.

When putting together this list, think of things you have done or learned to do as part of:

  • Jobs you have had
  • Your studies
  • Any work placements you have done
  • Any volunteering you have done


Some examples of skills lists include:

Key Skills for a Project Manager

  • An experienced team leader with the ability to initiate/manage cross-functional teams and multi-disciplinary projects
  • Critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Planning and organizing
  • Excellence personal communication skills
  • Project management skills: influencing, leading, negotiating, and delegating abilities
  • Conflict resolution
  • Adaptability
  • Tolerant to stressful situations


Key Skills for Teachers

  • Self-motivated
  • Initiative with a high level of energy
  • Strong verbal and personal communication skills
  • Decision making, critical thinking, organizing, and planning
  • Tolerant and flexible to different situations


5. Highlight your work experience

Most job listings will mention a required or desired amount of experience. This should be highlighted in your gathered information. 

If the listing notes ’10 years of experience working in sales’, then ensure you have 10 years of sales orientated jobs listed in your work experience. This is important as it will show the recruiter you are fit for the job and have a deep understanding of the industry.

When writing your employment history, make sure to include the company name, your title and length of employment. Keep key responsibilities short and sweet – dot points are great! You may wish to list your achievements in this role. List your jobs in chronological order.

Tip: Do not flood your work experience section with jobs dating back decades. Make sure every job you list is relevant to the job position you are applying for. You do not want to bore your recruiter with excessive information.

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