I see/hear lots of people debating about “objectives” versus “career summaries” on resumes.
For those of you who don’t know the difference, here is a quick explanation.
Starting back in the stone ages, when a person created their resume (typed, written by hand, chiseled with a sharp stone and slate, etc.) they would typically start the resume with an objective statement like this:
“Objective- to obtain a challenging position where I can utilize my skills with a company that provides opportunity for growth“. Or something similar. What exactly is this telling the employer? “What can you do for me? How much will you pay me?”
It’s important to remember the main thing when creating your resume… it is not what the company can do for you, it’s what you can do for the company! Frankly, when a hiring person is going through a stack of resumes, they really aren’t caring what your goals in life are, or how you would like the company to open up opportunities for you. You have to prove to them that you are there to HELP THEM. Remember, it’s not about you. It is the first thing the reader will see, and I guarantee that you will NOT leave a lasting impression. Your resume will most likely end up in the circular file.
An objective statement by itself doesn’t do that.
A career summary explains what it is that you can do for the company, what your expertise is in, your brand, your strengths. All of these things tell the employer that you can DO THIS FOR THEM. If the career summary is followed by bulleted keywords, keyword action phrases, core competencies, etc., even better. The first half of the page is the area that gets looked at and decided upon instantly. Better to pack a punch. Here is an example of an effective career summary:
“Dynamic executive leadership career in international, billion dollar organizations with a rich mix of finance, operations, internal/external processes, technical savvy and business development. Intimate knowledge of financial processes, operating results and profitability. Expert in executing team-driven process improvements to increase revenue growth operational efficiency, and overall profitability. Executive MBA. Expertise in:
*Financial & Procurement Controls
*International Sourcing, Operations & Finance
*Contract Negotiations & Procurement Controls
*Technology & Process Implementation
*Strategic & Financial Planning
*Start Ups, Turnaround & Revitalization”
Much better, more impactful, don’t you think?
Now, I have seen (and written) some resumes where it says something like, “Objective-Executive Finance Position” that was followed by a career summary. In that case, it was/is more like an introduction to the person, their brand, and the position they want.
Go over your resume thoroughly and remove/rewrite your objective so that it is speaking to the employer telling them what you can do for them. Replace it with a fresh and dynamic career summary. You need to sell yourself on your resume and a one liner objective isn’t going to do it.