Do you know who your audience is?

by Darlene Zambruski | September 18, 2012

Specifically, do you know who you want to impress with your resume? If you don’t, you’re in big trouble.

No longer do resumes come in a one-size-fits-all format. There are resumes for:

1. Students (including those seeking entrance into MBA programs)

2. Private sector employers

3. Federal employers

4. Military transition

5. Career transition

Do you know the differences between the various kinds of resumes?

It’s not important to know all the nuances. However, you do need to understand that the audience for each is different, and they’ll be looking for certain specifics in your document. What you include – or don’t include – could be what’s keeping you from getting a job interview or entrance into a school program.

Take MBA resumes for example. They are deemed ’studen’t’ resumes, but they are not the same as those used by candidates wanting to get into college or graduate programs. MBA resumes are more like those a candidate would use to get a job in the ‘real’ world. That is, they focus on an applicant’s business acumen, his or her years of experience in an industry rather than merely showcasing an academic background. They prove to an admissions director that the individual has knowledge and expertise in business. Resumes for those entering college or graduate programs would lean toward the academic background, including internships and fellowships.

Now, let’s look at the difference between resumes for federal jobs and those in the private sector. If you’re looking to work in the banking industry, you could craft a resume that could be sent to numerous banks as the qualifications for the job you seek would be basically the same. However, if you want to work at the FDIC, your federal resume needs to be geared toward that agency’s requirements. You couldn’t send an ‘FDIC-focused’ resume to the DOD, FHA or any other federal agency. What’s more, federal formats differ from private sector formats. Information you’d never put on a private sector resume (eg: social security number, supervisor’s name, phone number, location, etc.) will be on a federal resume.

Again, you need to target your resume to the audience viewing it.

At, we’ve been assisting clients since 1998 in crafting resumes to meet each individual’s specific need. Every document is targeted toward a particular employer, school or agency.

There are no cookie-cutter resumes. Not if you want to succeed.

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