Resumes: Objective Statements that Command Attention
The objective statement is one of the first sentences that an employer will read on your resume and it can be your opportunity to sell your resume and yourself. I would like to begin with a typical objective statement and then demonstrate how a few simple changes can turn any objective statement into an advertising tool that will get results.
Suppose I was looking for a sales associate position in a retail environment. My initial objective might look like this:
Objective: To obtain a sales associate position.
Many applicants use the objective statement entirely to tell employers what position the applicant is seeking. Sometimes applicants spice up their objectives as in the following example.
Objective: To obtain a challenging and rewarding sales associate position in a retail environment where I can utilize my skills and abilities.
I have read many objective statements like the one above and it contains two of the most common objective statement errors.
1) Asking for a treat - Employers care about their needs, not yours. Stating that you want a position that is rewarding, profitable, exciting, etc. is not going to motivate the employer to call you for an interview.
2) Generic and vague- I have read so many objective statements that mention skills and abilities without specifying what these skills and abilities actually are. Unless the employer feels that you have skills and abilities that match the needs of this position, you will not be called.
Employers are going to have some questions for all applicants and I think we should address their concerns in the objective statement. Employers want to know:
What position/type of job you are applying for
What skills/experience/knowledge/personal qualities do you bring to the position
What the positive outcomes of hiring you will be
To obtain a sales associate position with Freddie's Fish Supplies where
I can utilize my 5 years of retail sales experience and friendly
personality to ensure customer satisfaction and repeat business (Tip:
you may have noticed I included the specific name of the employer in
the objective statement, I recommend doing this whenever possible)
What position am I applying for? Sales associate with Freddies Fish Supplies
Why should they hire me? I have 5 years retail sales experience and a friendly personality
What are the positive outcomes of hiring me? Customer satisfaction and repeat business
There are many ways to write an objective statement and I feel that including assets I bring to the position and positive outcomes for hiring me will make my objective stronger. I should also try to balance this information with the need to keep my objective as short and easier to read as possible. However you choose to write your objective I think it is important to consider the number one quesiton that all employers will have when reading your resume:
Why are you the right candidate for this position?
If you read your objective statement and it does not state why your are the right candidate for the position you are applying to, then there is still work to be done.
Good Luck, Good Resume Writing and Good Job Hunting
James Noblitt 5/10/09