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Resumes & Cover Letters

Some Objectives Are Better Than Others

Today I received a resume from a new client and had to chuckle at the objective statement:

“A career that benefits both the company and me.”

Well I did tell him to be short and to the point! But what does it say? I responded by instructing him to set the tone of the document by clearly stating his career goals in terms of how you can benefit the employer. I gave some examples to help him. The next day I got this change:

“My objective is to obtain a rewarding and challenging job that allows the company and myself to grow and expand together to increase profitability and productivity.”

The central message hasn’t changed; it just now takes more breath to say it.

I call such statements “cotton candy” statements—while they seem will well-written, substantial, and attractive, when you sink your teeth into them they dissolve into almost nothing.

When I first wrote my own resume I had no idea what to use for an objective, or how to articulate it. So I understand the confusion many jobseekers feel regarding writing them. I decided to look up some resources online to help my jobseeker. I was somewhat befuddled by some of the samples I found from various resume help sites:

  1. For a job I am seeking to work as a hotel receptionist in a highly reputed hotel. I have a good working experience of about 9 years and will make use of my knowledge and skills for the success of the hotel business. My innovative customer handling ideas will surely assist me in getting more number of customers into the hotel.
  2. To build a long-term career in healthcare with opportunities for career growth.
  3. Seeking a responsible job with an opportunity for professional challenges.
  4. I want to bring to your attention the achievements, skills, strategic thinking, and leadership abilities enabling me to exceed earnings goals under less than ideal economic conditions so that we can discuss my joining XYZ Company as a member of your Financial Planning group.
  5. I am exhibiting my various set of skills as well as my achievements that may be useful for the betterment of the company.
  6. An entry-level position in _________, with opportunity for advancement.

These are all given as suggestions for an effective objective statement. Makes you wonder about the quality of some things you find on the Internet.

So let me break them down as to why they fall short.

  1. This sentence is grammatically awkward to start—the clause with which it starts comes close to a dangling modifier: “for a job I am seeking.” Perhaps this is Yoda’s Objective. Either way, it is so long that I worry an employer wouldn’t read it anyway.
  2. If the jobseeker is applying for multiple jobs with the same healthcare employer then the generality of this statement could be acceptable (“To build a long-term career in healthcare”). But if applying for a particular job, the particular job title should be included to prevent confusion.
  3. This statement doesn’t say much of anything. What job is the applicant applying for? What does the applicant bring to the table? And what does “professional challenges” mean?
  4. This statement is more at home in a cover letter, which is a more personal document than the resume.
  5. This statement was meant to be hook to draw the reader’s attention to the rest of the resume. As such, however, it is too generalized. Imagine a 10-second hook for an upcoming news broadcast: “we will tell you what’s been going on today at 11.” It has no traction to grab the attention. Now consider: “local high school forced to lockdown due to bomb threat; more at 11.” I bet a lot of people will tune in for that one. The same needs to happen with an objective statement.
  6. Examples #2 and 6 both do this: they lose whose focus this statement should concentrate on. While it might be your career objective, it MUST focus on what’s in it for the employer.

So for some good examples?

While I looked up articles online I found the following sites had some good ones, along with some valuable do’s and don’t’s.

http://www.broward.edu/career/GetJobReady/Resumes/ObjectiveStatements/page5456.html

http://sampleresumeobjective.org/

Here are a few to consider:

  • A part-time data entry position utilizing strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • To obtain a clinical position in a Physical Therapy facility that emphasizes Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
  • Seeking a marketing position with an organization where demonstrated skills in marketing, administration, and sales can be used to increase profitability and promote growth.
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About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.

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