A targeted résumé is one that is customized to specifically highlight experience and education that is relevant to the job for which one is applying and is most often useful when one has a wider variety of experience and qualifications. While it may take more time and effort to write targeted résumés, it is often well worth the effort, because it provides the applicant with the opportunity to grab the potential employers' attention more quickly and demonstrate how one's qualifications and experience are perfect for that particular position.

Targeted résumés are often categorized by headings of experience, under which specific positions are then listed chronologically (beginning with most recent). For example, rather than simply listing all previous experience, beginning with the last position and working backwards, a targeted résumé might contain two or more category headings that describe the type of experience being highlighted (such as "Educational Administration" and "Writing and Editing Experience"). If one were applying for a position within educational administration, then one would list that category first on one's résumé, conversely placing the "Writing and Editing Experience" at the top of the résumé when applying for writing and/or editing positions.