Resume Objectives: How Do You Know if Resume Objectives Are Right for You?
Some experts say NEVER bother with resume objectives.While others say they should be an essential element onevery resume.
So, how do you know who is right?
The simple answer is... no one is absolutely right.Your decision on whether to use resume objectives willdepend on your circumstances, job search goals, and—insome cases—the person who reviews your resume.
We can make recommendations, but you’ll have to makeyour own choice, based on your individual situation andpreferences. But first, let’s try to get a betterunderstanding of the 2 different schools of thought onresume objectives...
THE NEGATIVE VIEWPOINT
Ask anyone who does not believe in using job objectiveson resumes why, and they’ll tell you it’s becauseresume objectives are so often self-serving. In otherwords, they say what you want, but they usually fail tosay how this is relevant to the employer. You see, thecompany that hires you is more interested in thepotential benefits you’ll bring to the organization,not how they can help you achieve your goals.
Another problem is that a narrowly stated resumeobjective can be limiting. The company may not evenconsider you for a position you’d love if you haveclearly stated in your objective that you’re onlyinterested in one type of job.
Finally, most resume objectives are so vague as to bemeaningless. Why waste valuable resume real estate withsomething that will not help (and may harm) your questtowards obtaining the coveted interview?
ON THE OTHER HAND...
There are many resume writing experts who passionatelybelieve in using resume objectives. They cite the factthat employers want to be able to tell — in just a fewseconds — what job you want to do for the company andwhat skills you bring to the table.
There is also a school of thought that says the lack ofa written resume objective translates into a jobapplicant who doesn’t really know what he or she wants.
Also, if you have a long or diverse job history, resumeobjectives can help sharpen the focus of your resume.This is also true if you are trying to switch to acareer that is not strongly supported by yourexperience.
If you do decide to use a resume objective, though, youmust make sure that it is not self-serving or toolimiting, and that it is uniquely stated. Make itspecific and work to reflect the employer’sperspective, not your own. Demonstrate the value you’llbring to the organization.
ONE MORE OPTION An alternative to using resumeobjectives is to substitute one of the following at thetop of your resume:
* Power statement. This is a summarization — in 1sentence — of your most notable skills andaccomplishments, items that are sure to arouse interestin a prospective employer. For example, "Highly-motivated, competent, and organized AdministrativeSupport professional with a proven track record ofteambuilding communications, resourceful problem-solving, and technical expertise."
* Profile or Career Summary. This is similar to a powerstatement, but might be 3 or 4 lines/1 to 2 sentences.It could even be bullet points. But the main intent isto highlight your main career accomplishments to date.
In the end, whether or not to use resume objectives isa highly personalized decision. But if you do use one,keep in mind that employers are mainly interested inwhat you can do for them. So be sure that your resumeobjective is employer- oriented and results-focused. Dothis well, and you’ll be on your way to your nextinterview!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathi MacNaughton, a freelance writer and editor, has