Original article, published in the Tampa Bay Times
What does this sound like to you: “I am seeking a new career opportunity with your company to use my skills and grow professionally”?
Other than boring, bland, and basic, it’s a very poorly written objective statement created by a job seeker who didn’t know any better. Or worse, someone googled “objective for resume”, and they focused their energy on a copy and paste technique. I’m here to give you a few tips about how to create the new objective, now called the objective summary.
First thing’s first – what are you writing?
It’s not just an objective anymore, it’s an objective summary. A summary of your qualifications and skills that match the exact position you’re applying for. This statement should vary between each position you apply to. Doing so will make your resume stand out because you’re tailoring it to the exact company. It may seem monotonous to continue to change this portion while applying to multiple places, but it separates you from every other candidate. It will also help you decide whether you’re a match for each position and if your qualifications parallel the job’s requirements. It’s like a second look before you spend your time applying to a job that you’re not a qualified for.
Next – what are you?
Are you an engineer? A student? A marketing professional? What is your current title, or how would you best describe yourself in a professional sense? If your dream employer was standing in front of you, how would you explain your professional title to them in a few simple words? If you’re a student just entering the workforce, try “recent graduate” or “young professional”. If you’re looking for a change in career, try “aspiring *title you’re seeking*”, such as “aspiring human resources professional”. Whoever is reviewing your resume should know your title immediately. Don’t start with “I” like every other objective that can be copied and pasted from Google.
Are you experienced? Completed continued education?
Next, you’re going to include how many applicable years of experience you have in the position, the industry, and what makes you the ideal candidate. If you don’t have any experience, (for example, you’re fresh out of college), include your relevant educational background and emphasize the industry’s key words. Include specific coursework that’s relates to the responsibilities of the position you’re applying for. Show them that you know what you’re talking about. Key words are also great to include because it makes your resume easily searchable when it’s simply added into a database full of other potential candidates’ resumes. This is another great example of why you should create an objective summary. Don’t blend in with the rest; stand out.
Good communication skills – useful, but not unusual
What makes you different? What is it about you that makes you the perfect candidate for the position you’re applying for? Believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to brag. This is your resume, where you can boast about your accomplishments without concerns about your humility. Think outside of the box. Try something like “social media expert with high ROI and engagement analytics”. Prove to the hiring manager that you know what you’re talking about. Convince them that this position was made for you. Convince yourself, too.
The objective summary has replaced the usual, boring objective portion of a resume. Utilize it properly to make yourself stand out, and don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Try to think of this summary as a more concise elevator pitch. Become an early-adopter and master this skill before everyone else does, and this statement could make all the difference during your job search.