Resume Objective Statements Must DIE… Here’s Why.
And it isn’t a very pretty one.
Every every single time I see a resume that still has “Objective Statement” emblazoned across the top of the document as the very first thing the reader sees, I flinch.
It used to be that I thought perhaps this outdated component would fade away much like bellbottoms, but sadly, that hasn’t come to pass.
It’s still out there, just as blindingly ugly as a really loud pair of plaid pants.
And unfortunately, it’s about that difficult to avoid noticing.
Whether the candidate is a more mature worker closing in on retirement, or a fresh-faced new graduate who got really bad advice from an ignorant college career center, the objective statement is a disease that still needs to be eradicated.
Unfortunately, it still keeps getting propagated, and the only prevention method is education.
The objective statement must DIE.
And here’s why:
- It’s self-centered.
- It’s fluffy.
- It’s ineffective.
- It’s stupid.
Wow. Sure sounds like I don’t share any love with the objective statement.
Darn tootin’ right.
I hope this blog post gets picked up and circulated because the sooner the objective statement goes away, the better chance job seekers have to connect their expertise and strengths to solve employer needs.
The problem is that an objective statement is completely self-centered. It’s written to describe what YOU want, when the employer doesn’t care about that. They only care about what you are going to do for THEM.
From the employer’s viewpoint, there’s nothing bigger as a turnoff as a resume that starts out talking about what the job seeker wants. The mere fact that the candidate applied for the job implies that they want the job. So the objective statement pretty much is a “well, duh” sentence, anyway. And completely useless.
Getting rid of the resume objective statement and replacing it instead with a job title headline that is the same as or similar to the title of the job being targeted is MUCH more effective.
Then, right after the job title headline, provide a value proposition that connects the job seeker’s personal attributes with key skills that an employer needs in relation to the job title headline.
As a result, an ineffective, self-oriented objective statement is replaced with a clear link to what the employer is hiring for, along with a specific statement that creates a compelling reason as to why the employer might want to hire them.
Much better, don’t you think?
Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer and the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Many professional groups as well as colleges and universities have appreciated the insights and expertise she shares during presentations on career management topics, and she is a frequently requested national speaker as a result.