Targeted Resume Vs. General Resume

Targeted Resume Vs. General Resume

If you want a good job, you need a good resume. And unfortunately, there are too many people who underestimate the importance of their resume. By having the right resume, you stand out from the competition and increase your chance of an interview or job offer. Before you start writing your resume, you should understand the differences between targeted and general resumes. Then, you can pick the best style of resume for your needs.

What Is a Targeted Resume?

When you have a resume customized for a role or career path, you have a targeted resume. It should showcase the skills, achievements, and experiences that relate most to your desired position. As you might expect, this type of resume is ideal for those who know their career path.

When a hiring manager reads a targeted resume, they can see exactly what makes the candidate ideal for the position. It often uses keywords highlighted in the job listing and has extremely specific skills.

Tips for Writing a Targeted Resume

In order to write a targeted resume, you need to know quite a bit about the job for which you’re applying. You shouldn’t even sit down to write the document until you understand the job requirements. What’s the ideal candidate for the job listing? After you realize who the company wants to hire, you can figure out which experiences and skills you should highlight on the resume.

There’s one more thing you should look into before you write your resume - the company culture. When you create the document, you should make the tone match the company culture. Use the same keywords that the company mentions on its website and job listing. For instance, they might use the term “creative thinkers” frequently on their website and job listings. This is a term you should use several times on your resume. If the company uses resume bots, your use of keywords could help you progress past the bots.

Finally, a targeted resume needs to be targeted to every single job and company. Every time you find a job you want, tailor your resume for the listing. For example, a company might ask for someone with experience using Zoho. Although you might have experience with a variety of CRMs, only mention Zoho.

What Is a General Resume?

Meanwhile, a general resume is a document that sums up all of your skills and experience. Whether or not those bullet points are specific to a job title, they’re included in the resume. Typically, this isn’t the best type of resume to use. There’s really only one situation during which you should use a general resume. If you don’t have much experience and you don’t have a specific career in mind, you should use a general resume. Otherwise, you will spend so much time editing your resume for each job that it’s a waste of time.

A general resume only outlines all of your skills. If you’re not sure what type of job you want, you might opt to use a general resume. It should include skills that transfer easily to any industry. Here are a few other details your general resume should have:

Objective Statement

Using one or two sentences, explain more about your career goals and what you want to achieve.

Skill Summary

Although this is a general resume, you should still try to include skills that relate the most to your desired job. Oftentimes, you need to alter the skills section for each job listing. You should include both hard and soft skills.

Work History

In a general resume, you don’t need to worry about only listing relevant jobs. You can include all of your previous work experiences on the resume. For the best results, take a chronological approach. Begin with your most recent job and include the dates, job title, and a list of job duties.


A general resume should also have some details about your education. If you want the best results, be specific. Include the name and location of your school as well as your degrees and coursework.

Professional Memberships

This is a section that most job applicants overlook. If you have any professional memberships or associations, add them to your resume. They make you appear more professional and experienced.

Other Resume Tips

If you want to impress a hiring manager with your knowledge, you should use a targeted resume. And if you’re not sure which job you want or you’re looking for an entry-level position, you may be able to use a general resume. It gives you more flexibility to show why you’re a good candidate for an entry-level role. But the type of resume you use isn’t the only detail that matters.

If you want your resume to have the best impact, there are a few other tips you can follow:

Make It Error-Free

Your resume should be error-free, or the hiring manager won’t think highly of you. Before you send in either type of resume, proofread it. Look for inconsistencies as well as grammar and spelling mistakes. If you have a friend or family member who’s willing to check over your resume, ask them to do so.

Use a PDF Format

Although there are a variety of formats that you can use for a resume, the PDF format is the most appealing. Some hiring managers may not be able to open a word document, and a PDF is easily accessible by both Windows and Mac users. If a company has too many applicants for a position, they may not even bother replying to a candidate that has a resume in a format they can’t open.

Highlight Accomplishments

Your skills and experience matter, but so do your accomplishments. Rather than list all of your duties for a job, add some of your major accomplishments. In doing so, you demonstrate your value to an employer.

Read Everything and Follow the Directions

As a final tip, read the job listing thoroughly. Some employers include very specific directions in an effort to weed out applicants who don’t pay attention. Read the job listing thoroughly before you apply and follow all of the directions.

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