Objectives come in many packages nowadays. Personal Statements, Introductions, Professional Summary, and the tried and true “Objective.”
However you choose to market this initial statement on a resume, you need to be sure you cover 3 bases – and without all three, please know, it is just wasted space.
1) Who you are
2) What kind of job you seek
3) How you intend on contributing to my company
You should also be tailoring this section to EACH job that you apply for. It needs to be so in line with what I’m looking for that it entices me to keep reading. Despite what ya’ll may think about recruiters, we don’t live to reject people and not call people back. We actually like to fill jobs. We get bonuses when we fill a lot of them, and we live for making a great match. What I am saying is that we WANT you to succeed. So meet us half way and show that you have put effort into making a good first impression. Putting your best foot forward begins long before the interview phase.
Examples of Objectives that cover the 3 important points:
1) I am a 13-year veteran of the manufacturing industry looking to utilize my proven product management skills to decrease costs, increase efficiencies and drive quality thereby increasing revenue for your company.
2) Experienced, driven, and tested business development pro who can’t wait to make it rain by hurdling over quotas, mentoring your sales team to new heights and increasing profit margins with innovative sales strategies.
3) Recent MBA graduate who brings 8 years of interactive marketing experience, executive leadership and client relationship building to the table with goals of joining a marketing agency who can benefit from increased client spend, development of effective campaigns and thought leadership in the digital media space.
I’m not quite sure why people insist on filling the space at the top of a resume with an objective if they have no intention of accomplishing anything by doing so. Just so that everyone is clear – Objectives/Intros/Personal Statements are not a requirement on a resume. In fact, I’ve seen many excellent resumes lacking such an introduction. Letting your experience speak for itself is a great option – as long as you are able to pinpoint what you can bring to the table specifically to the job you seek in an email intro with resume attached or in a cover letter.
Here are some examples of horrible objectives that have taken moments of my life that I can never get back :
“With my recent successes in enhancing my education and professional work experience, I am looking to expand my knowledge base and skill set by venturing into a new industry and position.”
This tells me nothing. Not what you do, not what you have done, and not what you want with my job.
“I have always been a loyal and dedicated employee who is determined to work my way up through an organization. I know I can make an immediate and positive impact on your organization by applying the skills, talents, knowledge and experience I have acquired over the years, which will allow me to adapt into your industry while bringing creative and innovative ideas from various backgrounds.”
This one talks about advancement which is great if you can tell me briefly why I would want to advance you – what industry you are talking about, or even what backgrounds you are referring to.
“Seeking a career where I can utilize the experiences I’ve gained over my education and past job experience to contribute to a growing company.”
I think you get the picture.
Oh…and just as an aside, when you begin your objective with “Experienced Loan Officer,” or “20 year veteran of the banking industry,” or “Medical Device Sales Rep looking for…” – PLEASE make sure the job you applied for is the job or industry you so clearly specify in the first line of your resume.
I recruit for the interactive media industry currently, and when I have to take the time to open a resume that begins by telling me how unqualified someone is – not only do I close the file immediately but I resent that person for wasting my time, being unprofessional, and downright careless about their job search strategy. It’s not just my time you wasted – it’s yours too.
In conclusion, I would like to point out the glowing pet peeve amongst all of the objective fluff. Believe it or not, this continues to cross my desk, I would say as frequently as once per quarter. Do not tell me that you are detail-oriented, only to follow it up with spelling, grammar, punctuation and/or formatting errors. As recently as December 2010, I had someone submit a resume which read, and I quote (ahem…): “Detail-Orneted professional…” STOP. Really? Yep.
If anyone would like to send me their objective and have me critique it – I am up for it this week – so post yours in the comments section and stay tuned for my response.