Sell Yourself with a Resume Objective

If you’re a modern career-seeker, you’ve probably researched quite a few different approaches when it comes to formatting your resume or CV.  One of the most debated additions to the standard resume template is a brief opening statement otherwise known as a “resume objective.”

What is a resume objective?

A resume objective provides context and can serve as a vital introduction or overview of your candidacy for hiring managers who are short on time.  This typically opening addition to your resume is usually several sentences that convey to your potential employer your qualifications and goal for a new position.  A resume objective describes your prior work experience along with action statements that convey your short and long-term goals in your given career field.

Including a resume objective is a completely optional element of your submission and is only useful if executed properly.  With that in mind, here are our tips for selling yourself (and your candidacy) with a stellar resume objective.

  1. Use Caution with Your Use of Adjectives

Adjectives, or descriptions of your personality, skills or performance capabilities, are great tools for letting people know about vital characteristics you possess that may make you a perfect candidate for the open job position.  When generic adjectives are used, however, they can often detract from an otherwise quality resume, experience or background.

Generic descriptors such as “successful” or “accomplished” have little to no meaning without a bit of extra context.  If you must use these types of adjectives, pair them with facts that support your claims. Instead of “successful candidate looking for a quality company” try “successful candidate with ten years of executive level experience” or “accomplished manager with a history of project implementations.”  These may seem like minor changes but they’ll make all the difference in setting the tone for a hiring manager’s review of your resume and application.

  1. Think Not of What Your Company Can Do For You…

Sure, as candidates in the employment market we’re all looking for that steady job with good benefits and an excellent rate of compensation.  From an employer’s perspective, however, those needs aren’t going to land you a shiny new job. Your resume should be your method of initially selling your candidacy to decision makers.  With that in mind, be sure to use your resume objective to stress what you have to offer. Offer up that you’re seeking a position where you can “improve business” or “implement new efficiencies” or any other buzzwords that may be applicable in your field.  Hiring managers need to know what’s in it for them by choosing you and a quality crafted resume object can definitely help set the tone in that regard.

  1. Stay Away From Overused Phrases

Whether it’s a high school English Essay or a brief resume objective, the use and overuse of common phrases can be a big distraction and can even knock your “grade” down a notch or two.  Much like being specific with your adjectives, avoid common phrases that have little to no independent meaning and that are commonly used as catchphrases or generic filler. “Looking to utilize my skills” as an opening to a resume objective does little more than frustrate your reader, and could see your submission headed straight to the trash bin.  If you have real objectives for your current job search, try stating these instead to help make a real impact.

  1. Be Specific, Be, Be, Specific!

When it comes to crafting a resume objective as an opening line, job-seekers need to aim to make the biggest impact possible in a small, compact space.  List your objectives, goals and applicable skills that will help set you apart from the crowd. Statements such as “manager with 10 years of experience seeking a position in need of strong leadership” or similarly phrased sentences will make the biggest impact in a resume objective.

If you’ve sensed a theme in our string of advice regarding the form and function of your resume objective, you’re probably right on point.  In general, avoid vague descriptors and generic phrases, instead opting for statements that communicate in a succinct way what you’re really after when it comes to your job application.  While a resume objective isn’t mandatory, a well-crafted one makes a great addition to a resume and can help set the tone for big-time impact on the hiring manager and your job prospects.

Article Updated from the Original on February 4, 2018