The Job Resume - Gotta Get It Right
The Job Resume Objective - It's Not About You
Here’s what not to say in your job resume objective: "Seeking a position with advancement
opportunities to senior management." If this happens to be the objective on your current job resume, save some
prospective employer the trouble and circular file that puppy yourself. Do I sound harsh? With all due respect, it’s a harsh business world out there and getting
harsher by the day. When your resume hits the desk of a hiring official, you’ve got seven seconds to make a
good first impression. And since your objective is likely to be the first thing read, your fortunes are riding
on a mere handful of words. Here’s help with how to buy yourself another seven seconds, and another seven
beyond that. In other words, here’s what you need to know to write a job resume objective that will keep the
prospective employer reading.
It’s About The Hiring Official
That’s right, contrary to conventional thinking, the objective is not about you. It’s not about your wants or
your needs or your corporate lifestyle demands. Believe it or not, it’s about the hiring official. As per that
harsh world, he (or she) is under pressure to fill a job opening not just with a warm body, but with an individual
whose hiring won’t come back to haunt him. Ideally, he wants to find a candidate who’ll make him look good
to his superiors.
Because your job resume objective is the first thing he’ll read, he’ll be using that
opportunity to quickly size you up. Are you a professional, or a goof off? Have you done your homework, or did you
skip that prep? Do you have a defined and realistic goal, or will any old work for any old paycheck do? Do you give
a damn about the company, or have you just got your hand out? You’d be surprised how much one can tell from a
First Things First - Do Your Homework
Start by researching your field. Even if you’re making a lateral move, brush up on the economies that are
driving this field, the technologies that are changing it, and the qualifications that are most in demand.
Research your prospective employer. Acme Manufacturing, with it’s generic products and cardboard cutout
employees is gone like Mayberry--if it ever existed in the first place. In its stead are highly competitive niche
players that have their own peculiar structures and workforce demands. Identify the company (or companies) you want
to work for, then research and identify the workplace environment and
business philosophies that
drive that company. Start your research with the company’s web presence. Glean additional insight from archived
news articles, Dun and Bradstreet (check your library) and analysts’ reports (if the company’s stock is publicly
Finally, research the position you want. Much of detail of the job will remain elusive until the face-to-face
interview, but any nuggets of facts you can uncover ahead of that will help you in targeting your effective resume.
Otherwise, you may never make it to the face-to-face.
Bringing It All Together
By doing your homework on your prospective field, specific company and target position, then choosing
the Chronological Resume Format, you’re now ready to begin work on that job
resume objective. Knowing that it’s not about you–it’s about the hiring official–put your research into words.
Instead of "Seeking a position with advancement opportunities to senior management," which is
self-serving and all about "me," your job resume objective is now going to focus on the needs of that hiring
official. Something like the following: "Entry-level position in Finance which could fully utilize a
technical expertise in database design and strong drive to maximize corporate profitability in a competitive
And bingo, in a single sentence you’ve drawn a straight line between a key ingredient of the job
position and your skill set, acknowledged the company’s bid to go global, and signaled your understanding that
profits are key to everybody keeping their job–including (and most importantly) the person reading your
If resumes were nothing beyond objectives, you’d have won the job right then and there. You’ve shown yourself to
be professional, focused, on top of it, and dedicated to what matters. But of course, there’s more to the hiring
process than the scan of a single objective. But for now, the important thing is that you’ve bought yourself
another seven seconds in the screening process. And the hiring official keeps reading.
Where we go from here: The next page over, you'll find out how to craft a
resume that avoids other pitfalls of the screening process. We call it our Top 10 Checklist for a Winning Resume.
And because this resume help website is a work in progress, we're currently composing chapters on
how to write an effective summary or profile section, as well as work history and education sections of the
resume. You're invited to bookmark this site and check back soon.
David Alan Carter is a former headhunter and the founder of
Resume One of Cincinnati. For more than ten years, he personally crafted thousands of resumes for satisfied clients
from all occupational walks of life. David has compiled a collection of real-life resume objectives, by
profession, at Resume Objective.info. Look for your profession in the table of contents along the
right hand side.
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