#7: Irrelevant and Poorly Written Objectives…

14 Feb

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.

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17 Responses to “#7: Irrelevant and Poorly Written Objectives…”

  1. Jay P February 14, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Thanks!

    OBJECTIVE

    Seeking a sports management or marketing position where my game day experience, analytical, marketing, organizational, multitasking and people skills as well as ability to work under pressure can be fully utilized and further developed in order to drive profitability and promote customer satisfaction within an organization

    • jobhunthero February 15, 2011 at 3:07 am #

      OK – you have to be clear about what job you want here. Sports Management OR Marketing? Or Marketing within the sports industry? If applying to a marketing position outside of the Sports industry, this headline would steer recruiters in the opposite direction. Tailor one objective for Sports Management positions and one for marketing. If you are only looking for Marketing positions in the Sports industry – you should only specify Marketing and be clear about which industry you are targeting. Game day experience isn’t relevant to any industry except sports. In addition, marketing, multitasking, analytical and people skills are too broad. You need to speak about what you individually can bring to the table. What KIND of marketing do you have experience with? What people skills? And what have you been able to accomplish by utilizing those? You need to be direct and clear about how you intend to drive profitability and promote customer satisfaction. Marketing is about bringing in revenue. It’s about bringing in qualified leads to sell something or elicit people to spend money. How have you been able to accomplish those goals? Interactive marketing? Print marketing? Advertising? I know this a lot of feedback, and it’s difficult for me to exactly point you in the right direction without seeing the actual experience that follows this objective on a resume. My advice is be more specific and more focused. 100 people say they are analytical and have people skills. What does that mean in your words and how will you use those skills to generate profitability for me?

  2. Kris February 14, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Recent MBA Gold Medalist from Top Tier school who brings 10 years of Technical Leadership and Internet technology Product Experience looking to join a Product Management team that can benefit from a better trained sales force, an informed marketing campaign and a deeper technical customer engagement.

    • jobhunthero February 15, 2011 at 2:58 am #

      Congrats on the MBA Gold Medal! Your objective, much like most, is a huge run-on sentence and becomes awkward when reading. Don’t feel the pressure to fit everything about you in this section of the resume. For example, I would take out “from Top Tier School,” because you can insert your education directly under your objective so those reading the resume can see quickly and clearly what school you attended. I would also remove items that make this statement feel redundant – choose either Internet Tech Product Management OR Technical Leadership (depending on what job you are applying for). Here is what I would prefer: MBA Gold Medalist who brings 10 years of Technical Leadership looking to immediately contribute to a Product Management team in the form of informed marketing campaigns, a better trained sales force and deeper technical customer engagement.

  3. Kris February 15, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    Thank you very much Angela! Really Helpful Edits!

  4. John W February 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Hi Angela,

    Here is the copy from my generic business development resume:
    (I modify it slightly based on position.)

    Experienced, results-producing business development professional, with a proven track record of success in developing business ideas into actionable plans and executing, seeks opportunity to join top-tier organization and drive strategic growth efforts.

    • jobhunthero February 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

      Hey John! Thanks for following the blog! Ok this one starts off really well, get’s a little shady in the middle for me and ends well. I appreciate the brevity of it – it doesn’t sound like a run-on and doesn’t make you feel exhausted and take a deep breath when you’re done…which is always good. The part about “developing business ideas into actionable plans and executing” is a bit vague for me…but not bad either. I would maybe think about saying “track record of developing and executing upon actionable go-to-market strategies, and delivering profitable organic growth.”
      So in the end it would read: Experienced, results-producing business development executive (yeah I changed that too), with a proven track record of success in developing and executing upon actionable go-to-market strategies, seeks opportunity to join top-tier organization to drive profitable, organic growth.

      Note – Yours is good too. The changes are just adding some “powerful” vocab that would catch one’s eye. You could also replace my “Organic” with “Strategic.”
      Thanks for your support!

  5. Rusty Brotherton February 17, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Hi Angela, I love your tweets and blog. It is always helpful and many times brings a smile to my face. I would feel honored to hear your advice.

    Thanks,
    Rusty

    Experienced Professional with a MBA and BSIT. I speak both business and technology. With more than 15 years of strategic and team management experience, I want to help your organization succeed through technology implementation and business analysis.

    • jobhunthero February 18, 2011 at 1:42 am #

      I like this one Rusty (sans the grammatical error before MBA) because it shows a bit of your personality. I would consider taking the MBA/BSIT reference out of this portion of the resume and instead, citing your education directly below the objective so resume reads, Objective/Intro – Education (BSIT, MBA) – Work History (or if you have a Selected Accomplishments section it would go here) – Technology – Additional training (Seminars attended, continued learning, certifications, etc…). I would re-write your intro to be something like this: With more than 15 years of strategic and Team Management experience, I speak both business and technology. I want to help your organization succeed through technology implementation and business analysis.

      Thanks for your support!

  6. Rich February 18, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Opening
    I have been applying information management best practices to help solve business problems for more than 12 years. Applying my experiences and industry knowledge to help business partners manage information for competitive advantage while maintaining regulatory and legal compliance in a very challenging business environment.

    • jobhunthero February 18, 2011 at 2:06 am #

      Hi Rich – I like your opening. The further I read though, I want to know more detail about how you’ve found success in Info Mgmt. You mention industry experience, but which industry/ies? Also, define “challenging?” That might be a dangerous thing to put into an introduction without any details. The second sentence starts with “Applying my experience…” but then it doesn’t point me to how that helps MY company. This sentence doesn’t quite make sense in the context of an intro. You’ve run into a common mistake here which I see a lot. I think you might be losing site of offering something to the reader – the last sentence is more self-serving that identifying what you can do for the company you are applying for. My suggestion would be to keep the first sentence in tact and then alter the 2nd sentence to speak to the hiring manager directly. “I am able to provide immediate value to you in the following ways…” “My strengths lie in managing information to provide competitive advantage through A), B) and C)…”
      PS – I just read your Summary on Linked In and you should be using that as your objective on your resume. It paints a very clear picture and your personality shines through! 🙂

  7. Jessica February 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    I have just learned about your blog through this post and I’m really glad to have found very practical and honest advice. I’d really appreciate your advice!

    In my job applications, I start my CV with the following summary:

    Human resources:
    36 months with recruitment and screening; HRIS management; orientation; learning and development; and, employee relations
    Administration:
    45 months with Bullhorn, PeopleSoft, Compustat, Lotus Notes, MS Word, SPSS, PowerPoint, Excel, files, documents, and correspondence
    Event management:
    22 months with research, analysis, proposals, budgets, timelines, logistics, facilities, catering, sponsors, vendors, and promotions
    Industries:
    Finance, government, technology, NGO, education, entertainment, energy, and staffing in Toronto, Ottawa, Guelph, Calgary, and Israel

    I try to communicate my objective in my cover letter, i.e. “I am thrilled to develop my professional communication and multi-task initiative with [specific opportunity]… With a foundation of successful HR internships in Imperial Oil, OLG, and Israel, I guarantee that will make the most of this opportunity to learn, grow, and demonstrate my value with a leader in HR programs and practices. Please contact me to discuss the next step in the PMP application process.”

    • jobhunthero February 22, 2011 at 2:36 am #

      Hi – Thanks for following! This first thing you have to do is eliminate all those time frames that you have provided in months. Those are useless. Turn those into bullet points so instead of an Objective you have a “Skills Summary” with all of that content WITHOUT the months. You don’t need to categorize it all into HR, Admin, Event Management, etc… Also – you need to remove the industry experience because it will only serve to narrow your options. It doesn’t benefit you to list a variety of industries really in my opinion, unless you are a consultant and have MANY years experience within each one. The objective you list at the bottom is not good. The last thing you want to “come off” as in your objective is “Green.” You are basically saying here that you can’t wait to get hired by me so I can train and teach you so that YOU can grow. You need to speak to the recruiter/hiring manager/company you want to work for in terms of the vale add you KNOW you can bring to the table. Think of it this way – WE are going to have to WANT to PAY YOU for something – so don’t take up an objective by telling me what else you intend to take from me besides a paycheck every month. I would recommend taking this out altogether and going with the bullet-pointed Skills Summary I covered initially. I hope this helps!

      • Jessica February 22, 2011 at 3:11 am #

        Wow, thank you for your clear assessment! I guess I developed that habit of listing experience by months when recruiting government IT contractors, but I can see how it doesn’t apply for my own summary. I’ve also described myself as “lightly seasoned” on LinkedIn, which I thought was cute, but see now that it gives the wrong impression that I’m inexperienced – yikes!

        I hope to have implemented your recommendations into the following statement:

        I am a calm, conscientious, innovative HR professional seeking to grow with an organization where my full value can realize meaningful contributions to human capital. My three years of HR experience span cities and industries with a focus on talent acquisition and development coordination and communication. Graduating with an MIRHR in June 2011, I bring a dedication to learning, research, and projects in change management, cross-cultural teams, compensation strategies, employment law and economics, and conflict management.

  8. Dean February 22, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    Hey Job Hunt Hero! Ok here is my ministry objective…let the bleeding begin:

    Highly innovative and results-oriented Pastor with proven leadership performance in designing effectiveness in ministries and businesses, most recently in training ministers in the areas of Children’s, Youth, College and Adult Ministries. Spiritual Gifts include Organization, Encouragement, Leadership, Wisdom and Empathy. Life Mission includes the desire to help others reach their potential for kingdom impact.

    • jobhunthero February 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

      Dean – while I must admit, my expertise is not in ministry resumes (in fact I can’t think of anytime I’ve ever been asked to critique one), this looks really nice. I would be reaching for something to coach you on here, so I will just say “well-done.” It talks about who you are, where you’ve been, what you are good at (what you can offer a new position). Great objective!

  9. never cold call December 23, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    I relish, result in I found just what I used to be taking a
    look for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

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