“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”
First impressions must make an impact, to be precise, to show respect and to be courteous is what it takes to make a pleasant and lasting one. You might be able to do it in person but how good are you on it at writing – and especially when you are applying for a job your resume and cover letter are the ones that make this special first impression. And of course to make that impact, be sure to polish your objective and that precisely is the objective of this article.
What is the purpose of objective in a resume?
Most resumes have vague objectives because you’ve never really given the objective its fair share of research. You aim to write more on your professional summary and experience, objective improvisation generally is not on your list. If you have been fumbling around to present a definitive objective in your resume then this article is for you, this article takes you on a journey to inform you why objectives are important and how it increases your chance to be on the “to call” list of recruiters and hiring managers.
First impressions are lasting if not final – the objective is your first attempt to impress the recruiter or the hiring manager.
What you must focus on:
– Specific / Relevant to the job
– Straightforward, short, to the point
– Defines in few words what you are and where you are headed
If the objective does not strike a chord with the manager or is not relevant to the position you are applying for, chances are your impressive keywords below might not be relevant anymore to the manager since he had 5 other resumes with an impressive objective. The hiring manager needs to know at the first glance as to what type of position you are applying for. A precise goal at the offset creates an instant liking to your resume. That should be the objective of your resume.
Imagine yourself at the other side of the table.. can you come up with one sentence what would make you read further? What will make you say: “Yes, I’ll hire me!’
If you are still wondering how, then here’s the hint: look up the job description again and jot down the keywords and the main requirements for the offered job, you’ll get the idea.
In a nutshell, your objective must convey:
- What position you are applying for?
- What are your qualifications that match this offered job?
Now for a particular position write your objective as:
- Interested in full-time —-<job title> —————— position at ————–<the company you are applying for>————— (yes, it can be as simple as that and to the point!)
- ——<job title>—– , looking for a challenging and dynamic work environment that uses my strong <job description specific skill, for example customer service or communications skills> ability
Alternates to “Objective”
You may even use different wording for the title objective in your resume, here are some other ideas:
- Career Target
- Professional Objective
How to customize your objective for each posting
It is very important – please note the emphasis on ‘very’ to customize your objective for every job opening you apply for – yes ‘every’. Especially now during or post-recession you will see a flood of resumes for every advertised job, you need to do more to stand out. A powerful resume needs to be worked on at every angle.
The objective of the resume must resonate completely with the position you are applying for. Don’t be vague – plan a crisp and focused objective – when you are phrasing your objective, answer these questions:
What is the goal of this objective?
Answer: the goal is to get “this” position.
Will the employer find this information relevant to this open position?
Answer: I must use the job requirements information to match with my objective.
What if I do not have good experience to showcase in my objective?
Answer: Then use your skills as the major highlight.
For example if you are applying for the position of a registered nurse, which of these would you like:
- Dedicated Registered Nurse with 14 years of practical experience in hospitals and primary care looking for a Head Nurse position
- Head Nurse position that uses my varied experience in nursing, and utilizes my caring and compassionate individual nature
Though there is nothing wrong with the second objective, a quantitative presentation is more appealing. Also note in the first objective we get to know precisely what type of a person the applicant is “dedicated registered nurse” (good that is exactly what we are looking for!), “14 yrs experience” (yes, that is what we would prefer for the head nurse position) and this person is applying for the offered job “Head Nurse” (great let’s read more..).
When not to use the objective in your resume
Yes there are quite a few instances where you might not need an objective – this is usually when you are highly qualified and have a brilliant track record to exhibit, which is anyone’s envy and you are applying for a job In the field which you have been for several years – no career change here.
- If you have an impressive qualification summary that puts together most of the requirements of the applied for job, then the objective can be altogether removed. Also if you are a champion cover letter writer and have impressed the hiring manager already then again, the objective may be deleted from the resume.
See for example:
Here’s an example of a resume of a Social Media Manager at the Microsoft website. From this resume it is evident that the person is a “champion” at what she does with an impressive track record in social media management. This person’s work experience is in this particular field which is comparatively new and recruiters searching for a good match social media manager resume online will most likely get the keywords search match in this resume. So no need to reemphasize the point by an objective here (obj: looking for a social media manager position..if your resume matches the one here on the MS website,delete the objective). When you have superb credentials to flaunt – flaunt them; just begin with aplomb and when you have it what they want – you got it! Here instead of Objective you should use “Profile” or “Professional Strengths” as the head title.
- Don’t use objective when submitting your resume online to the job boards with no specific job description. Also if someone you send your resume uses to send it to multiple divisions in his/her company then the objective needs to be tailored accordingly, if this is not possible then it is best advised to remove them from such resumes.
Where to use your newly minted sparkling and awesome Objective
Once you get the idea on how to get your elevator pitch in your objective and it impresses you more as you read it for an umpteen time – you know you have a great objective for your resume. But know better that this objective can be used in various other places than just on your resume.
If you have an online portfolio – it could be your website, blog, Facebook or LinkedIn profile, use the objective there along with your picture at the very introduction and also in the keywords of your webpages. After all your immediate intention is to land a great job so why not use your self-marketing in all eye-catching places?
Examples of some really lousy objectives
- Looking for the best opportunity in your esteemed organization where I can use my best abilities to be retargetful and flexible.
- I have many year of experience in designing and software management. Looking for a project manager position.
- Presently working as a senior accountant at a large firm, looking for a career change.
Examples of good use of objectives in a resume
- Highly Proficient Web Graphics Designer Looking for Next Opportunity to Excel!!!
- Award winning executive with 8 years of Project Management experience looking for a challenging position as
- Recent computer graduate with a brilliant academic track record with strong analytical, problem-solving, and people management skills, seeking entry level Software Development Professional position.
Tips for your Objective Makeover:
- Don’t carry over an objective from one resume to the other when applying for different jobs; customize it for every applied job.
- Use matching or exactly the same keywords in your objective as you see in the job description (look out for the key/main keywords here).
- Be precise, maintain focus and limit objective to two to three sentences.
- Don’t add keywords just for the sake of adding them in your objective – the statements must be meaningful and also tie in honestly with your credentials beneath.
- Strike off any non-essential words like: “currently looking for”, “actively looking for”, you have just a couple of sentences to make that first impression – trim to present attractively and effectively.
- Use some striking, attention grabbing words or phrases (look up thesaurus) to make your objective strong and impactful.
Related Post: Adding a QR code to your resume.
Often, it is not easy to come up with a perfect resume or even a cover letter on your own. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help in resume writing and cover letters.