Going further along this path of “writing a resume is both simple and difficult;” let’s talk about another “stumbling” point – the resume objective. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, then you will remember that I do not like resume objectives in general.
You don’t need it and I do not believe it is particularly effective. But no guru I am (in the infamous words of Yoda)!
Because many guru’s continue to recommend objectives and writing services routinely begin the resume with an objective statement. In fact, there are whole websites (and popular at that) dedicated to writing objectives.
Most objective statements, written as they are, are fillers. That’s all they do; they fill the top of the resume.
Because both the reader and you know what the your objective is – to get hired.
But if you are going to insist on using a resume objective, might I recommend a thought or two (do I sound like an ass)?
Here’s a typical resume objective:
An administrative assistant position requiring strong organization and planning skills to provide exceptional support to a vice president in the financial industry.
So, what does this objective tell and how does it add value to the resume?
For me – it’s nothing to both questions.
If I’m looking for an administrative assistant, then this objective statement is pointless. If I’m not, then this resume is pointless.
Here’s another, more indepth resume objective, as recommended by an expert:
I intend to use my professional expertise in this field along with my knowledge, towards expanding the customer base of the organization, apart from ensuring optimum customer satisfaction for the existing customers. I seek to offer my salesmanship skills, along with my extensive experience in the field, towards the performance of my duties and consequently towards the growth of the Organization.
On surface, this is probably better than the first. It’s better because the objective statement was written to mirror the job duties as listed in the job posting.Â But again, how does it add value to the resume. If you want to tailor your resume to the job posting, then tailor your resume to the job posting. And if you do that, then the objective statement becames a filler and nothing more – however well written it might be.
But, notice that this objective statement uses 7 “I’s” and “my’s.” I guessing most recruiters and hiring managers could care less about you and your “I’s.”
So, your question to me might be, “okay hotshot – what do you suggest!?”
If you had to, I think your objective statement ought to be bigger than just the job you are applying for. It eliminates the first example because do you really want to be an administive assistant, or something more? Oftentimes, hiring managers hire for the future as much as they hire for the present. But you certainly don’t want to put on your objective statement, “I want to be the next president.”
And it eliminates mirroring your objective statement to the duties in the job posting.
So, what’s the guidance…
As Phil Baker recommends – look to the company mission statement.
While there are probably HR employees that do not have their company’s mission statement memorized, many will find something familiar about your resume when you have mirrored their mission statement. A familiarity that “feels right.” – Phil Baker
Mission statement: To combine aggressive strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers…
Objective: To apply superior selling skills to market quality products and services that provide the best insurance value for consumers…
For more from Phil, visit his site, www.resumedictionary.com – might be the best, free resource on the web today.
The other way is to use the objective statement to add value to your resume. How do you do that. One way is use an example from Kevin Donlin’s Guerrilla Resume:
To increase shareholder value by developing and delivering high quality products.
Compare this simple, yet direct statement to the previous two example – which one of the three adds value? Kevin’s example tells what he will do for the company. The first example tells what position he wants. The second example is all first person pronoun and verbose. Kevin’s Guerrilla example keeps it squarely on the hiring manager (here’s the complete resume example, which you can also find at his website).
Observe, though, both Phil and Kevin’s example have no first person pronoun. To me that is key.
So, if you must – then follow their lead.