Resume Objectives: Don’t Make This Critical Mistake

Wow! Could you imagine a resume objective that could be any less specific? But, as a professional resume writer, I can tell you that such a nebulous, non-specific objective on a resume is more common than it is not. Even though including a resume objective is a piece of resume writing advice that was tossed nearly two decades ago, this is still one of the most frequent mistakes that I see people make on their resume.

You’ve heard it before: you literally have seconds to capture the attention of the reader of your resume. Nine times out of ten, if they are reading your resume it is because they have a specific need for an individual to fill a specific position.

Your job is to IMMEDIATELY convey that YOU are that individual they are seeking.

With no more than a glance, the reader of your resume needs to know you are the person they are seeking.

But what if you wrote your resume objective so that it was more specific? Would that be better?

No, no, no.

This is the classic and common mistake of thinking that your resume is all about you.

It isn’t.

Your resume is about the employer, the employer’s needs, and how you are going to help them meet those needs.

No matter how you look at it, a resume objective is self-serving. Your goal is to turn this around and write an employer-centered resume.

Your future employer should see herself in your resume. Not only does she need to understand the focus of your resume that makes it aligned with the position she is seeking to fill. She also needs to come away from your resume understanding that you are the person who can solve her problems, help her tackle her challenges, and meet her goals.

The Modern Alternative to a Resume Objective

If you are wondering how in the world you are going to achieve all of the above goals — focusing your resume AND conveying you are the candidate the employer seeks — without a resume objective statement at the top of the resume, the solution is simple.

Create a resume profile section also known as a qualifications summary, executive profile, or professional summary.

The typical modern resume profile includes a headline statement that provides the crystal clear focus for your resume, making the old-fashioned objective statement unnecessary. But this is followed by a brief and hard-hitting summary of the most important and relevant skills you bring to the table, plus your most significant career accomplishments that prove them.

Profiles are critical – they are above the fold (this means they appear in the top 1/3 of your resume, where the eye tends to land first), they anchor the resume, and they entice the reader to continue reading and ultimate call you for an interview.

The best, most effective profiles provide an easy-to-read overview of your brand, your value, and your impact and provide proof of your performance by summarizing your accomplishments and results that will have the greatest meaning and value for your target.

Example of a modern resume profile

Resume writing best practices change continuously. It is important that your resume change with them. The resume objective that you were taught to include on your resume when you were in school is now obsolete, but this is just an example of the many unintentional mistakes you may be making on your resume without knowing.

This is one of the key areas of value a professional resume writer can offer you. The best of the best among us (and that includes the entire team of Distinctive Career Services) continually work to update our knowledge by attending annual conferences and online workshops, joining and participating in professional associations for resume writers, studying and obtaining professional certifications, and more.

If it is time for you to update and modernize your resume, schedule a free Discovery Consultation with us to learn more about how working with us can be of great value to you.

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