Your resume objective is the first thing the hiring
official will look at. Is yours up to the task?
The Resume Objective - It's Not About You
Here’s what not to say in your resume objective: "Seeking a challenging
position with advancement opportunities."
If this happens to be your current resume objective, save the prospective employer the trouble and
circular file that puppy yourself. Why? Because here's what that prospective employer will be reading,
instead. "Gimme a fun job where the pay just keeps getting better and better."
While the above might actually be our goal in life, it's not the kind of goal that is going to motivate a hiring
official to give us the time of the day. When your resume hits the desk of a hiring official, you’ve got seven
seconds to make a good first impression. And since your resume objective is likely to be the first thing
read, your fortunes are riding on a mere handful of words. Here’s how to buy yourself another seven seconds,
and another seven beyond that. In other words, here’s what you need to know to write a resume objective that will
keep the prospective employer reading.
It’s About The Hiring Official
That’s right, contrary to conventional thinking, the resume objective is not about you. It’s not about
your wants or your needs or your corporate lifestyle demands. Believe it or not, it’s about the hiring
official. He (or she) is under pressure to fill a job opening not just with a warm body, but with an
individual whose hiring won’t come back to haunt him. Ideally, he wants to find a candidate who’ll make
him look good to his superiors.
Because your resume objective is the first thing he’ll read, he’ll be using that opportunity to quickly size you
up. Are you a professional, or a goof off? Have you done your homework, or did you skip that prep? Do you have a
defined and realistic goal, or will any old work for any old paycheck do? Do you give a damn about the company, or
have you just got your hand out? You’d be surprised how much one
can tell from a resume’s
First Things First - Do Your Homework
The best resume writers start by researching their field. Even if you’re making a lateral move, brush up on
the economies that are driving this field, the technologies that are changing it, and the qualifications that are
most in demand.
Research your prospective employer. Acme Manufacturing, with it’s generic products and cardboard cutout
employees is gone like Mayberry--if it ever existed in the first place. In its stead are highly competitive niche
players that have their own peculiar structures and workforce demands. Identify the company (or companies) you want
to work for, then research and identify the workplace environment and business philosophies that drive that
company. Start your research with the company’s web presence. Glean additional insight from archived news articles,
Dun and Bradstreet (check your library) and analysts’ reports (if the company’s stock is publicly traded).
Finally, research the position you want. Much of detail of the job will remain elusive until the
face-to-face interview, but any nuggets of facts you can uncover ahead of that will help you in targeting your
resume. Otherwise, you may never make it to the face-to-face.
As a former resume writer
... you should know that
99% of the time I was able to improve the resumes that were sent to me.
Sometimes dramatically. So, I'm acutely aware of the benefit to having a pro
on your side in your job search.
Although I don't write resumes myself anymore, I've taken a hard look at some of
the more popular resume writing services on the Web. Like everything else in life,
there are some good writers out there, and some you should probably avoid.
If your resume is going to be fighting for attention in a highly competitive
field, or it you're finding it difficult to express your job qualifications in an
unbiased - yet promotional - manner, a good professional writer might be able to
help. In this tough economy, when a job search can run into the months, if not
years, it's certainly worth considering.
If you're interested, here's how I rate the Web's most popular Resume Writing
-- David Alan Carter
P.S. If pressed for time, see my quick recommendations of the Top
3, at the bottom of this page...
Resume Objective - Bringing It All Together
By doing your homework on your prospective field, specific company and target position, you’re ready to begin
work on that resume objective. Knowing that it’s not about you-it’s about the hiring official-put your research
into words. Instead of "Seeking a position with advancement opportunities to senior management," which is
self-serving and all about "me," your resume objective is now going to focus on the needs of that hiring
Something like the following: "Entry-level position in Finance which could fully utilize a technical
expertise in database design and strong drive to maximize corporate profitability in a competitive global
And bingo, in a single sentence you’ve drawn a straight line between a key ingredient of the job position and
your skill set, acknowledged the company’s bid to go global, and signaled your understanding that profits are key
to everybody keeping their job-including (and most importantly) the person reading your resume.
If resumes were nothing beyond objectives, you’d have won the job right
then and there. You’ve shown yourself to be professional, focused, on top of it, and dedicated to what
matters. But of course, there’s more to the hiring process than the scan of a single objective. The important
thing is that you’ve bought yourself another seven seconds in the screening process. And the
hiring official keeps reading.
Where we go from here: See a real-life resume objective written for
clients in your profession. Look for your profession or discipline (e.g. Sales Resume Objective) in the table of contents along the right hand
margin of this page.
Wondering which format will put your qualifications in the best light? Chronological or functional? OK -
let's get into the nuts and bolts of The Resume Format.
David Alan Carter is a former headhunter and the founder
of Resume One of Cincinnati. For more than ten years, he personally crafted thousands of resumes for clients from
all occupational walks of life--entry level to executive. For his lowdown on five popular resume building
tools, see Review of Resume Builders. Or if your resume is finished and it's
just sitting there on the desk, looking back at you, put it to work. David reviews the leading Resume Distribution Services.
This company represents the single largest network of professional resume writers on the Web,
and holds a 99.9% customer satisfaction rate. They guarantee interviews within 60
Entry-level = $169.95
/ Mid-level = $199.95
Go straight to ResumeWriters.com
...or read our IN-DEPTH REVIEW
Exceptional writing from a team of HR Executives, Hiring Managers and former
Recruiters. Your writer will spend an hour on the phone with you to get it right. 99.9% success
rate. Guaranteed interviews within 60 days.
Mid-level Professional = $525.00
Go straight to GreatResumesFast.com
...or read our IN-DEPTH REVIEW
The chosen resume partner for Yahoo! HotJobs and the Wall Street Journal's
CareerJournal.com, not to mention the U.S. Air Force. Fully certified writers,
attentive customer service, and quality workmanship.
All Resumes = $249.00
Go straight to ResumeEdge.com
...or read our IN-DEPTH REVIEW
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