There is still some debate about the value of a resume objective statement. I understand the debate and yet I still believe that a resume without a targeted objective statement is a little bit harder to read; especially if you are a new grad. If you have ever watched a recruiter sift through a stack of resumes for potential candidates for a job opening they needed to fill yesterday, you’ll probably see them wince at cliche resume objectives. A good resume objective statement will set the tone for the rest of the document.
Resume Objective 101
Resume objective statements like: “Seeking a challenging career with a progressive organization which will utilize my skills, abilities and education and allow for my professional growth within the company” although well written, tells a busy hiring manager nothing about you, your skills, your goals or your potential value to the organization. This type of resume objective statement is just not as targeted as it should be. Maybe these are the types of resume objective statements that some professional resume writers hate. I don’t like them either, because they really don’t say much.
If your goal however, is to use the resume objective statement to set the tone and create a focus for your resume, then use these tips.
Tips for Effective Resume Objective Statements
1. Be specific with goal statements. Specifically mention positions or departments of interest; company branch location; preferred geography or specific project on which you would like to work.
2. Demonstrate value to the employer. What can you do for them? How will you improve the organization and the bottom line? Do you want to work on enhancing a brand or meet a specific fund raising goal?
3. Avoid superfluous “nothing” statements in the resume objective.
The example given in the opening paragraph is one such nothing statement -clearly a case where more is not better – just more. Why take the chance that the recruiter will have to read it more than once to even understand it? You don’t want recruiters to spend all 20 seconds of the resume power scan reading your resume objective.
4. Tweak resume objective statement according to need. Just as no one resume fits all jobs, no one resume objective fits all resumes.
5. Avoid the 1 or 2 word resume objective. “Management”, “Supervisor”, “Part-Time” and “Sales” are just some of the common one-word resume objectives recruiters and professional resume writers see.
6. Minimize the use of personal pronouns such as ‘I”, “me”, “my” in the resume objective. While many professional resume writers advise job seekers to eliminate them completely, it is acceptable to keep personal pronouns, if removing them would disrupt the flow of an otherwise good resume objective.
3 Sample resume objective templates that can simplify the process and help jobseekers hit the bullseye with a great resume
1. [Name of department] where my skills and experience can be effectively utilized for [identify a goal].
2. A position as a [name or type of position] allowing me to use my [state your qualifications]
3. To utilize [qualifications] as a [position title] to [professional goal]
Once you have a great resume objective written, the rest of your resume must provide the supporting evidence for your skills to meet the resume objective. List the most important evidence first. Use the resume objective to demonstrate value to the employer and be bold about where you want to be and what you have to offer.