A targeted resume is a resume that is explicitly crafted to the needs and requirements specified by the hiring company. Many people simply create a general cover letter, change the name of the recipient, and send it out to all of their prospects. This is not recommended; the process is faster, but it's also transparent and unappealing. Companies can tell if you didn't put in the work and are less likely to consider you.
There are several components to crafting a targeted letter, and they will all help you make a better impression on the hiring manager:
1. Be as precise as possible to make it clear that you have tailored your resume to a specific company. If it's a magazine, mention the "10 Bizarre Tips for Animal Training" article you read in February. If it's a bakery, talk about how you were blown away by its Flantastic Caramel Cupcake last month. Companies like to know that you know who they are and that you're interested in what they do.
2. Target a specific person. Someone who has to go through hundreds of resumes is more likely to take notice if a cover letter is addressed to a person who actually works there instead of to "Sir/Madam" or "Whom It May Concern." Bonus points if it's the right staff member!
3. Tell the company exactly why they should hire you using their own words. Draw from their job posting, from the position requirement description, from their website, from their press releases, and from their mission statement. Highlight key phrases and words and then use them in your cover letter. If they're looking for someone who "generates sales growth," then in your cover letter, provide an example that says something like, "I grew sales by 5% over the course of three months that generated a $5,000 monthly revenue increase to the company's capitol." Keep it grounded in your experience, but use the job ad's wording and address their specific requirements.
Index of Cover Letter Examples