Career Advice: Resume Help and What’s Your Resume Objective
If there is one area of life many people want to develop, it’s their careers.
Those in favor of personal development are fewer though those pushing for career growth agree that this is important too.
Still, a few others are on the fast lane towards spiritual development.
You might be in any of these categories but one thing for sure, career growth is necessary. If not for any other reason, at least for the sake of improving your income levels.
With life becoming increasingly expensive, you need to ensure progress in order to stay above the poverty line. This is why you will want a well-paying job.
And aware of the work-life balance, you’ll want a job that you also enjoy, and makes room for personal time.
This is critical for your all-round well-being.
If so, how do you get that kind of job?
Though there may be many ways of getting such a job, one way is quite sure. This is what we will discuss in this article.
This is something that you need to do while on the job hunting process.
Once you start working and you never managed to get this done, it becomes difficult to implement it. It is like trying to change the terms of a contract mid-way.
What is this thing you have to do?
It concerns your resume.
WHAT’S A RESUME OBJECTIVE?
Before you get a job, you will have to send over your resume. Your resume is what opens the door for an interview, which once passed, you get the job.
There are many things which go into your resume. From contacts, previous work experience (if any), academic qualifications etc.
But to set the stage for what you want in your career, there is something called resume objective.
The resume objective is what will tell the hiring manager what you want in the career you are in. It points the hiring manager in the direction an interview with you would likely go.
It answers some of the questions she has and also says what working with could be like.
Your resume objective is a short description of what your career goals are. It also shows which skills, knowledge and abilities you possess and how they are relevant to the company you want to work for.
Should you use a resume objective?
You may have received conflicting advice on the use of career objectives. That is because many career experts say that this is no longer a necessity. Some say resume objectives are simply outdated.
Is this true?
It is important for you to understand that career matters have expertise but most of the time, much talk is based on generalities. Advice given is general in nature and when it’s specific, it may not cover all possible situations.
The truth is that resume objectives have been in use for some time. And in the course of their usage, one major problem was evident. They turned out to be vague and even irrelevant.
This was the reason for advocating for resume objectives not to be used. With this reason, then it’s only accurate to conclude that this opinion does not put everything into consideration.
Although the majority agree and have even turned to an alternative referred to as resume summary statement, resume objective still have a place.
That being said, they certainly shouldn’t be used in every resume you write.
Doing this opens the door for potential wrong use.
WHEN TO USE A RESUME OBJECTIVE
In most of the job applications you will make, you will be better off avoiding the resume objectives.
They may not add much value.
Moreover, their position in your resume, right at the top after your contacts, might waste very valuable space.
So, when should you use resume objectives?
There are at least three situations which completely warrant the use of a resume objective. These are discussed below.
When Making a Huge Career Change
When changing careers, a resume objective is necessary.
This is because you skills and experiences most likely don’t match the position you are applying for.
And this is an example of a situation which makes a hiring manager see the irrelevance of your resume.
In fact, your resume may not even get to the hiring manager.
In today’s technology-driven world, online submissions of resumes don’t go directly to the interviewer. There are far too many of these documents for HR officers to go through. The solution is in using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs).
These are computer programs which sit between you and the interviewer. They receive and analyze your resume for relevance.
If your resume doesn’t pass the threshold set, it goes to the trash. Below is a video of how ATSs work.
To avoid this fate, you need to write your resume in ways that will make it bypass the machine and land into the interviewer’s hand. The tips in the above video will help you do that.
But for you to be called in for an interview, your resume objective has to do some work for you.
Here you will list your skills and experience in the industry you have been working. You will then show how they are relevant to the new industry you want to join.
Lastly, show how these skills and experiences will add value to the company you are interviewing for.
When Moving to a New Location
Moving to a new location happens a lot. But in this case, you are not being transferred to a new location. You are the one willingly moving.
Your reasons for moving may be connected to your career or maybe they are just personal reasons. You might want to be closer to your family, move close to where your kids school or even just want a change of environment.
From a Glassdoor analysis, many people are willing to move for the job.
Reasons aside, this is another situation where the career objective comes in handy.
First, your resume might be confusing going by the address indicated.
Living in one state but applying for a job in a different state might mean that you applied by mistake.
Also, the company might assume that you intend to travel across the states every morning and evening to and from work.
Though such willingness isn’t a bad thing, the company may just decide against it. In practice, it might result in you getting to work tired.
Alternatively, due to high commute expenses, you might ask for a higher salary. These are issues which the company is better off avoiding.
Writing a career objective and indicating your plans to move will make it easier for the company to accommodate you.
Keep in mind that your career objective isn’t necessarily about your personal decision.
Therefore, adding such information needs to be done in a clever way. For example:
Successful online marketer for 2 New York startups seeking to utilize 4 years of expertise and experience in Virginia.
When Fresh Out of School
Another situation perfect for using a resume objective is when coming straight out of college. You have no experience but are looking for a job.
The company wants to employ people with work experience but you believe you can do the job too. More than that, you want to learn and gain the relevant experience.
It is said that hiring managers have only 6 seconds to read your resume. In that case, you have to capture and sustain their interest immediately.
Any signs of irrelevance on your resume will make it an unnecessary read. A waste of time and it will just end up being deleted.
You will thus have to immediately point out the knowledge you have acquired and skills you possess.
Show how these have been used in your school years and the results they produced.
Lastly, you should tie that up with the value these skills and knowledge will add to the company.
If you do it right, you will stand a chance to get to the interview stage.
The interview will be the stage for you to pitch yourself more than your resume could do.
HOW TO WRITE A GOOD RESUME OBJECTIVE
You have seen the importance a resume objective has. You have seen the situations which actually require that you write one.
But how do you write a good one?
Writing a great career objective is not a difficult thing to do. Some guidelines will however help you in your quest to stand out among the job candidates.
There are four considerations to make. Your career objective should pass all these tests if your resume is to stand a chance in the crowd.
It must be short.
Very few people nowadays read long text. This has been blamed on many different things.
Among them is a culture of not reading and the high levels of engagement provided by visuals.
For example, marketers will tell you that text doesn’t engage leads as well as images and videos do.
This means that there is a move towards pictures and videos.
When you present text, it becomes difficult for many to connect with you. Yet reading is also powerful, especially in the way it helps the mind develop concentration and reduce stress.
But since you are writing text, make it short. Writing a concise career objective will increase the possibility of it being read to the end. Ideally, this should not be longer than 3 sentences.
The three sentences should also not be long.
How do you summarize your skills, knowledge and past experience into only 3 sentences?
The secret lies in first writing without considering the length. Let your thoughts flow freely. This is your draft. Write down your skills and experiences then edit it afterwards.
As you edit, you will easily see which words to replace. You will also be able to use words which substitute several others.
It must be relevant.
Making this text short is not all you have to do. Remember there might be a robot waiting to analyze your resume upon submitting it.
These robots work by scanning the text for keywords related to the job.
For example, keywords for a data analysis job might include data, analysis, insight, report, trends etc.
Relevance however goes beyond the robot and has to look at the human element of the resume screening process.
You definitely have several skills and abilities. If you have acquired any experience, it may or may not be directly related to the current job you’re applying for.
For you to obtain relevance, you will have to think of how you can apply these skills to the job.
For example, you may have been in a marketing career but now want to shift to business development. These two are somehow related though still different.
The example below shows how you can adapt your skills and experience to suit the new job.
Acquired 5 years of experience running lead generation campaigns and converting 75% of total leads every year. Looking to utilize skills in negotiations to grow new business at the B2B level.
It must be proven.
The resume objective is not a platform to do blind pitching. This is not where you give false promises.
Everything you write in this section of your resume must be verifiable. It must be true. If you say that you have achieved some results in your current or previous job, there should be proof elsewhere in your resume.
For example, don’t rush to claim how you have a degree in communication but have no indication of it in your education background.
This is a problem which can easily occur when using resume templates.
In an attempt to get a template from an expert, you may forget to tune it to your specific needs.
Since the career objective is more of a summary pitch of yourself ensure you are honest.
Otherwise you might get quickly disqualified at the interview because some things will easily come out.
For example, if you indicate good communication skills but have trouble expressing yourself, you obviously lied.
It must show your value.
Your resume objective serves one big role: sell you to the potential new employer. That’s what it’s all about. This means that you are supposed to show how you will add value to the company.
This is what every employer is looking for. He isn’t looking for someone who will earn the least amount of money to keep costs down. He isn’t looking for someone who talks well but performs poorly.
In fact, as long as you are delivering results, companies have no problem paying you more.
But at this stage, you cannot prove that you are delivering since you are not yet employed. You can only prove your ability to do so upon getting employed.
This calls for use of the right words and editing the text to pass the right message correctly.
Do not merely provide a list of skills acquired. Instead, show what those skills can do. Show how they can make a difference.
You do this by mentioning numbers. Instead of saying that you improved the performance of your team, give numbers indicating the change experienced.
Bad Example of Showing Value
Used effective communication skills to bring the team together and deliver an urgent order on time.
Good Example of Showing Value
In a highly-demanding factory, utilized communication skills to convince team members to work over the weekend.
COMMON MISTAKES WHEN WRITING RESUME OBJECTIVES
It is very common to see mistakes when writing career objectives. Even in following these tips, you can still make these mistakes if you are not careful.
They mostly happen because of the natural way of communication. When writing these however, some changes in normal communication are needed.
Here are three common mistakes you should be careful to avoid.
Using Long Text
We have already said that the text should be short. We have even given a recommendation of 3 sentences. But unless you practice writing this, you may find it extremely difficult to manage this length.
Follow the advice provided in the section about keeping it short. Just write then edit afterwards. Practice this until you are able to do it comfortably.
Avoiding long text makes it easy for the one reading your resume. If she can go through it and quickly see what she is looking for, the better for you.
You will have increased your chances of being considered for the interview.
You may have noticed that the examples given in this article do not have words such as “I,” “I am” or “me.”
This is not a mistake but a deliberate effort. In writing resumes, it is advisable to avoid that language.
In fact, it is one of the reasons some give for labeling resume objectives as unnecessary.
You should use what is referred to as the “Absent 1st Person” perspective. This works to make your writing shorter and concise.
The writing itself indicates that it is you being described. Here is an example to show the difference.
Using the 1st person perspective
In my former employment, I ran marketing campaigns and converted over 50% of the leads generated.
Using the Absent 1st person perspective
Worked at ABC Company and converted over 50% of generated leads.
Focusing on Yourself
Your resume is really about you. You are using it to introduce and market yourself to the company you hope to join.
But the resume objective part of your resume should not be about you. It should be about the company with an opening.
This is why we insist that you must show your value. Your value in this case is not what you necessarily think of yourself. It is more of what the hiring manager thinks about you.
Just to be clear, other people’s thoughts about you are not what determine your value as a person. They can be mistaken and this happens often.
But understand that the decision to hire you rests on someone else. As such, you should aim at impressing them and causing them to believe that you’re the best.
In writing the objective, focus on the company. Read the job description provided carefully to determine what the company is looking to achieve.
Understand the challenges they are currently facing.
Then tune your skills, experiences etc to show that you have what they need.
Your writing should be focused on solving the problem they have.
RESUME OBJECTIVE EXAMPLES
Here are some examples to get you thinking and inspired. In several places in this article, we have provided examples as we explain the points.
Those are smaller parts of the whole intended to focus on what is discussed in that particular section.
The below two are complete and more reflective of what your resume objective could be.
Computer Engineering graduate from MIT with a record of making a working CPU in 10 days. Acquired great knowledge in transistors and motherboard design, helpful in CPU manufacturing. Looking to leverage skills while working in a team focused on improving computer performance.
Passionate about building business relationships for an increased customer base. Worked 3 years in converting prospects to loyal customers. Looking to join a marketing consultancy firm which helps SMBs overcome marketing challenges.
A great resume plays a key role in landing you that dream job.
With career objectives being a smart way of spicing things up, do not be discouraged from using it.
Especially if your situation is one of those mentioned as requiring a resume objective.
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