Effective Resume - How To Write A Job Resume Objective
The Job Resume Objective - It's Not About You
© David Alan Carter
All Rights Reserved
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 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 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 most
Effective 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 global marketplace."
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 resume.
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. Remember the Top 10 Checklist for an Effective Resume? But for now, the important thing is that you’ve
bought yourself another seven seconds in the screening process. And the hiring official keeps
Where we go from here: Whether or not you opt for an objective,
you'll definitely want a Resume Summary. We show you why, and how
to write one. Or we could move on to the sometimes tricky task of writing Resume Accomplishments. And if you're wondering
which format makes the most effective resume -- chronological or functional -- we can get into the nuts
& bolts of the Effective Resume Format.
You're likely finding that resume writing isn't a cake walk. Beyond the actual writing, there's the overall
look and style of the resume, the benefits (or lack thereof) of templates, Word vs PDF versions, and any number of
pitfalls to avoid.
At some point... in the resume
writing process you're going to be asking yourself, "Should I have a professional
The answer may be yes... if your resume is going to be fighting for
attention in an extremely competitive field, or if your work history or job
qualifications are difficult for you to express in a promotion and unbiased
Former recruiter David Alan Carter can help you identify that "pro," that special
writer who is qualified to deliver a polished document that puts your best foot
forward in a tough job market. Carter put the Web's most popular resume writing
services through their paces – comparing writing quality, customer service,
pricing and more. See who came out on top...
Now, you can do this. It's certainly within your power to put together a polished, professional-looking
resume. With some effort. We know about effort. Every effective resume we ever wrote took us effort,
plenty of it, for ten long years (see Who We Are).
Maybe now's a good time to mention two things...
1) It's not too late to get your hands on a resume builder - inexpensive software that does much of the heavy
lifting of resume writing. On the next page over, we review and compare the internet's most popular Resume Builders. And... 2) For those who've
decided they want to have a pro take charge, we review and compare the internet's most popular Resume Writing Services.
Whether you seek a builder, seek a pro, or soldier on solo, we wish you success in your job search and
|David Alan Carter is a
former recruiter 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 http://www.Resume Objective.info.
Look for your profession in the table of contents along the right hand side.
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