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Targeted Resume Formats: How To Target a Resume To a Specific Job or Industry

Updated on April 14, 2012

Emphasizing Transferable Skills in Your Resume

While searching for jobs that fit both your skills and your unique talent-driven desires for a Dream Job, you may find that your resume is not quite a perfect fit for a particular job opening. It may be slightly different from the job description posted online or in the classified section of the newspaper. You may have most of the skills and experience required for the job, but perhaps not all if it. The goal for you would be to highlight and emphasize your transferable skills in a targeted resume for this open position. You would mold your resume to direct the reader's attention to all of the qualifications and experience you have accumulated that would transfer directly into this occupation in order to make you successful in it.

Choose a specific path in your resume, when necessary.
Choose a specific path in your resume, when necessary. | Source

Targeted Resume


Add a Job Skills heading to your resume near the top that showcases your experience and skills that relate to the job description. This section of your resume will attract the reader's attention as he or she sifts through hundreds of resumes that do not emphasize related experience and skills. In fact, some of these resumes will have been submitted by job seekers that are not qualified or experienced for the open position in any way, but have simply applied to any and all jobs. Other applicants will be somewhat qualified, but not targeted their resumes to clearly show their qualifications. In contract, if your Job Skills heading illustrates directly-related material and/or transferrable skills, then you have a much better chance of being invited to a job interview for the position than many other candidates. Some examples include the following list of skills:


Calculating numerical data

Finding information quickly and accurately

Successfully handling complaints and converting them to new sales

Writing persuasive letters

Composing grant funding packages

Training individuals and 4eams

Thinking of creative ideas

Enforcing rules and regulations

Creating policy statements

Developing enthusiasm and cooperation in team building

Providing unparalleled customer service

Knowledge of local community and government affairs

Qualifications Statement

In place of Job Skills, you might list that title of the job you desire and are at least mostly-qualified-for and include your skill sets under it, as in the format of the following example:


Audits ~ Corporate Taxes ~P&L~ Internal Controls ~ Licensed CPA

This would be placed right after your contact infomration at the top of the first page of your resume.

You need not lie or exaggerate your qualifications on your resume, but you can place these vital pieces of information where the Human Resources people will see them first and, thus, want to interview. In order to do this, Use a Functional Resume that lists your major skills and achievements up front and connects them immediately with this open position that you want. See examples here at this link.

After completed such a targeted resume that "looks like" the job that you want, prepare a strong cover letter to go with it.

Write a Meaningful Cover Letter

Write a fresh, individualized cover letter to go with your targeted resume. It is a fact that so many standard, trite, empty phrases, sentences, and even whole paragraphs are used in cover letters that the entire application package is often rejected after the first sentence or two of the letter is read. Employers want to hire people that can make them money (or gain additional grant funding), and an applicant that presents a wooden or empty impression paper is not the person that will make them money.

Write a cover letter that one-half to one full page long. It in, tell the employer that you really have value and innovation to bring to the table in employment negotiations. For example, one of my contacts wrote the computer programs for statistical programs and constructed databases for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and did an outstanding job of it. Not many people can stake that claim. This individual was able to transfer that skill set into field of education and became quite successful. However, this skill set needed to be displayed clearly up front on the resume and emphasized in the cover letter and not tucked in at the very end under ADDITIONAL SKILLS in small type font.

How to Target a Cover Letter

Connect the Dots Clearly

The cover letter should also directly talk about the job requirements of the open position and how your skills can transfer into them. For example, if you have good mathematical and statistical skills, these can be used in many different occupations in a variety of fields. If you have most of the required skills and experience for the job - or at least skills that transfer directly into the job - then write about them in your cover letter, and talk about the one or two skills you do not possess in your job interview. Make sure to state that you are willing to learn new skills and can learn them quickly.

The Global Marketplace today is one of Continuous Improvement - continuing upgrades and improvements must be made to services, products, employees and bosses, or money and business are lost. Those that do not improve are left behind -- A favorite quote of many trainers is Mark Twain's, "It doesn't matter if you're on the right track if you're not going anywhere." In the interview, tell the HR representative that you are studying on your own in the skills that you lack for the open position - then make sure that you actually have been doing that. Free courses in many subjects are available online and in libraries. Your new employer may even consider sending you to formal classes at his own expense or as reimbursement to you of tuition, depending on your grade earned.

Consider doing some volunteer work in positions that offer the chance to work in skills that you need to develop for your Dream Job. The take that information into your job interviews. Many employers appreciate people that volunteer and give back to the community, because their companies have a goal to do just that.

Also emphasize in your cover letter that you work well in a team as well as an individual work environment and that you seek to increase the profits and/or services of the company. Employers want to hire people that will make money for them, weather it is a for profit firm or a non-profit that continues to operate by winning additional grant funding and providing premier services in its industry. Emphasize your communication skills among diverse people at all levels of clientele, staff, and administration. Communication and teamwork are vital to the success of many companies.

If you can communicate the fact that your new employer needs you, right there in your cover letter and further, on your targeted resume, you can be quite a success on the job and in your career.

Targeted Job Search


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      I hope the information in these Hubs continues to be of help to you Mommy Fabulaous. Let us know how your job search works out and if I can help any further!

    • Mommy Fabulous profile image

      Mommy Fabulous 9 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      I'm in the middle of a job search right now and I'm getting frustrated because I'm not receiving as many call backs as I'd like. Your sites are very informative and helpful, and I'm putting a lot of the information to good use.

      Thanks Patty for the great information!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thak for all of the comments, readers1 I am always happy when you visit and read my hubs, and hope that you find them useful.

      Wooddy - I've written so MANY of them! - and I have read 1000s in searching for job candidates with various companies. I think wqhat I have learned may be a bit useful. Thanks for commenting! :)

    • Woody Marx profile image

      Woody Marx 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You have forgotten more about resumes than I will ever know! Great authority Patty! :)

    • white atlantic profile image

      white atlantic 9 years ago from INDIA

      nice information for beginners

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 9 years ago from New England

      Great info. re: new resumes especially for those out of the workforce. The transferable skills piece will work well in my resume. Thanks for the info. The tips are clear and "transferable".

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 9 years ago from India

      good tips for job hunters..