Objection! How NOT to Start Your Resume
by Kevin Donlin
Well begun is half-done. But far too many resumes begin with objective statements that can only be described as ... half-baked.
As a professional resume writer, I review and analyze nearly 2,000 resumes each year. And the opening objective is an area where almost everyone could use a little help with their resume.
To show you what I mean, here are three example objectives from actual resumes sent to me for analysis by job seekers just like you. (My comments are in parentheses.)
To obtain a responsible (as opposed to irresponsible?) and challenging (what, you don't like dull work?) position where my education and work experience will have valuable application (like finding a cure for cancer?)
Seeking a position in the sales department with an opportunity for advancement (in effect, you're saying to the employer, "Give me a job where the pay is good ... and keeps getting better.")
Seeking a challenging career with a progressive organization which will utilize my skills, abilities and education in management, product management, operations, purchasing and buying. (Zzzzz. You won't bore anyone into hiring you.)
You can stand out from the crowd if you'll just write your objective from the employer's point of view, instead of your own. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
All you have to do when writing your objective is make sure it answers this question: "What's in it for me?" That's the question on every employer's mind as he or she reads your resume.
Here's an example objective, to get you started:
Management position in procurement where over 10 years of experience will add value to operations.
Avoid such trite phrases as: "seeking a chance for advancement," or "where my skills will be utilized," or "where I can further my career." I've seen each of these on resumes that were badly hampered as a result.
So, to keep your objective from being objectionable (and torpedoing your job search), put the focus where it belongs -- on the employer and their needs.
Best of luck to you!
Kevin Donlin owns and operates Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1995, he has provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients. This article and hundreds like it on topics ranging from networking to resume writing to finding internships also appear in The Last Job Search Guide You'll Ever Need, a self-help job guide.