Melanoma has historically been refractive to traditional therapeutic approaches. As such, the development of novel drug strategies has been needed to improve rates of overall survival in patients with melanoma, particularly those with late stage or disseminated disease. Recent success with molecularly based targeted drugs, such as Vemurafenib in BRAF-mutant melanomas, has now made "personalized medicine" a reality within some oncology clinics. In this sense, tailored drugs can be administered to patients according to their tumor "mutation profiles." The success of these drug strategies, in part, can be attributed to the identification of the genetic mechanisms responsible for the development and progression of metastatic melanoma. Recently, the advances in sequencing technology have allowed for comprehensive mutation analysis of tumors and have led to the identification of a number of genes involved in the etiology of metastatic melanoma. As the methodology and costs associated with next-generation sequencing continue to improve, this technology will be rapidly adopted into routine clinical oncology practices and will significantly impact on personalized therapy. This review summarizes current and emerging molecular targets in metastatic melanoma, discusses the potential application of next-generation sequencing within the paradigm of personalized medicine, and describes the current limitations for the adoption of this technology within the clinic.