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Target your resume

Target your resume

Increase your chances of impressing employers by creating targeted resumes for different positions.

Your master resume

A master resume is a document to keep track of the full history of your work-related experience, even though you will only use parts of it on your actual resume. A master resume is often many pages long, and includes every single job, internship, apprenticeship and volunteer position that you have ever had. It lists all of your training, degrees, and certifications, as well as any awards you have earned.

A master resume sums up the length and breadth of your career, and includes stories and examples of accomplishments and outstanding experiences you've had.

Writing a master resume can be time consuming, but it's worth the effort and time upfront because of its long-term value.

A master resume will:

  • Make it much easier to create targeted resumes for specific jobs. You'll be able to copy and paste parts of the master resume into a new targeted resume, change a few keywords – and you are on your way!
  • Make it easier on your memory. It is hard to recreate your work history time and again. You may forget certain aspects of your work. If you have a master resume, you have your chronological work history and skills listed all in one place.
  • Allow you to figure out effective ways to group your military “jobs”. Creating a master resume helps you see underlying themes in your diverse work experiences. It can be much easier to write a combination or functional resume if you begin with a master resume.
  • Help you avoid writing a generic resume. Sometimes writing a targeted resume is difficult – and you may decide to write a generic resume which is “one-size-fits-all.” The problem with this approach is that you are leaving the employer to do the work of figuring out if you can and will fit in to the organization. With a master resume, you can copy, paste and then tailor your resume to produce a job and organization specific, targeted resume.

Your targeted resumes

A targeted resume does the work for the employer: making it easy to see how your specific skills/qualifications are a match to the job’s requirements.

To start, you will need to know the position, career field, or company you are targeting, and then spend a bit of time analyzing the requirements of the job posting and researching the company. What are the key skills or key words that this company cares about? The goal of your targeted resume is to tell the employer that you match the exact skills and qualifications that they are seeking.

You’ll want to target your resume in the following four sections. Get started by answering the questions for each section.

Objective: What job am I applying for?

Summary: What skills/experience/are preferred or required for this position?

Experience: What roles/responsibilities or duties is the employer asking me to perform?

Education: What type of education or training are desired/required by the employer?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to determine the best resume style to catch the employer’s attention and effectively market your skills and experience.