The power of targeting and alignment

When I started JibberJobber people would ask “who is this for?”  Or, “who is your target market/audience?”

I would say, enthusiastically, “EVERYONE!!”

Of course, all job seekers should use it. That’s a no-brainer. But if you are applying to colleges and you want to keep track of those applications and follow-up, JibberJobber would be great, right?  If a grandma, far removed from her career, wants to keep track of the birthdays of her grandkids and grand-nephews and grand-neices and inlaw, etc., she could simply set up JibberJobber to get birthday reminders.

Pretty awesome, huh?

Yes, it is pretty awesome. However, in this message of “everyone” people start to hear “everyone except me, specifically, because I’m unique.”

My product was aligned towards these three groups of people (job seekers, college hopefuls, and grandmas) but my messaging started to say “we don’t focus enough on a particular problem to the point of being expert at that problem.”

And people look for the expert solution.

Last week a good friend asked me to review her resume. Ironic, because I had just written this post: “Will you review my resume?” How to Review someone’s resume

One of my questions to her was “what job is this for? What will you use this to apply to?” Her resume was general, covering what she thought was her accomplishments and skills, and it could be used to apply to a variety of jobs (kind of).  At least, it wasn’t targeting one particular job. It wasn’t “limiting” her to a job.

In short, my response was that this was a great start at creating what we call her “master resume.” A master resume has EVERYTHING on it, and can easily be pages and pages long.  You never send someone a master resume, but you use it to create a targeted resume.


Because the master resume doesn’t have the right marketing message, and we all know that a resume is a marketing document.

The master resume says “I’ve done a lot of amazing things, and I’m probably great at most things,” while the targeted resume says “I’m the right person for THIS job, and here’s proof.” You use language and substantiation that is aligned with THAT role.

I can’t overstate this enough.

Years ago, when I was in my job search (Jan 2006) I used a resume that was NOT aligned with the jobs I was applying to.  Guess how well that went?

If you want to me like me, one of the biggest job search failures, use a general purpose or “good enough for anything” resume.

If you want to land a job, make sure your resume is 100% aligned with the role you are applying to. I know it’s extra work, but it’s work that is imperative.