Writing an objective or career summary can be one of the hardest sections to write in a resume. Why? It is often the shortest part of your resume, so it shouldn’t be hard, right? Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for people because you have to briefly summarize why an employer should hire you. When it gets to the point that it is too difficult to write a tailored, specific summary, some people will give up and just write a vague or generalized one. While this is certainly an option for people, there are problems with it. Some of these include:
Confusing or Unclear: If your career summary is vague or generalized, it can become unclear to your potential employers what your focus actually is. You don’t want to make it harder for your potential employers to see what your goal is. They are looking through dozens (or hundreds!) of resumes, and if it is too hard for them to understand what you are saying, they probably won’t take the time to go through the rest of your resume.
Looks Lazy: Besides being unclear, a vague summary can look just plain lazy. It can look like you didn’t take time to research the position, and that can cause employers to feel like you don’t care about the role, or their time.
Now that you know some of the problems with having a vague objective, here are some ways that you can fix it so you have a specific, tailored objective that will impress employers.
Maintain a clear focus: Be very clear about what it is you want to do. Briefly add some tangible experiences that pertain to this role. Show your expertise and brand!
Research: Do some research on the position so you know what you are talking about. Add similar qualities that you possess to the summary as it will help you stand out more.
That is it. You just need to be willing to take the time and do the work and you will end up with an impressive focus and summary that will help keep potential employers reading and interested in your resume, and you.
Does your resume have an objective?
A resume objective statement is, typically a line or two stating your intention to the reader (note: This DOES NOT mean to add “to obtain a position that is challenging and financially rewarding… etc. THAT is not what I mean). Many HR managers will overlook any resume that does not have a clearly defined career goal – so a resume objective statement–stating what you want to do and what you are good at doing– can be a great way to present your resume to prospective employers. Remember that an objective statement is not the same as summarizing your long-term career goals – it is where you state your goals for your next job–what you can do for them. Don’t think that an objective statement is necessary for all resumes – they are usually used for specific situations rather than as a standard boilerplate resume requirement. If you’re an entry-level employee or someone looking to change their career path, then an objective statement or title bar should definitely be used. A title bar is similar in that it states the name of the position you want. If you do not have work history that clearly defines your career goals, you will need an objective in order to attract attention. If you are a job seeker with an extensive and relevant work history, a qualifications summary (with a nice branding statement) will be more appropriate.
In order to write an objective statement you need to answer three questions: 1. What type of work are you looking for? 2. What particular skills do you have? 3. How will you be able to help a company that hires you?
When you write your objective statement, you need to focus on how you can benefit your employer, instead of how the employer can benefit you.
For example, if you have experience you could say that you offer a “Dynamic leadership career as Customer Development Executive with a rich mix of special event marketing, team development and leadership, operations management, and sales.” You should avoid phrases that imply you have any particular preferences, like that you are “looking for a position with a team-oriented company” – again, you should focus more on what you can bring to the position rather than what you want from the job. A good objective statement needs to be specific – it’s not enough just to say that you are looking for a challenging position (ick–don’t do this. I repeat… just DON’T). This says nothing about what your real career goals are. Instead, your statement should briefly list the important qualifications and how they relate to the position. If you’re looking for a specific position, you can reference the job in your objective statement. Make sure you take the time to customize your resume so that you can make a good impression with HR managers, this indicates that you are enthusiastic about the positions they are offering. The purpose of including an objective statement in your resume helps you eliminate irrelevant information that will not help you get the job that you’re seeking. Anything on your resume that doesn’t support what you have written on your objective statement needs to be removed. Make sure to do your research about the company beforehand and tailor make your objective statement to that position.