Does your resume really need an objective?

The modern resume seems to be in an eternal, ever-changing state of flux. What everyone yesterday thought was an absolute essential inclusion to the resume is suddenly old news, superfluous, and in some cases a bad idea. Including an objective in your resume may not fall into the latter category of “bad” - but according to a study that asked more than 70 employers what they thought, resume objectives are now seen as a total waste of space.

Understanding why only requires you to take a straightforward look at what a resume objective’s “objective” really is. It’s essentially your chance to put forth an opening argument stating why you’re submitting your resume in the first place. But when you think about it, isn’t that obvious? You’re not submitting a resume to a company because you want to invite them to your birthday party, or because you want to tell them you think their product is awesome. What you’re saying is, “I’d like a job here, please.”

Sure, lots of people take creative approaches to writing objectives, using them as opportunities to make their prospective bosses aware that they know a bit about the company they’re applying for. But according to the vast majority of human resources specialists and hiring managers today, objectives are frequently glossed over or not read at all.

Does this mean simply removing your resume objective will make everything better? Not necessarily. While less is more, you still don’t want to waste a good opportunity to include other information that would be more beneficial toward your aim of landing a great job. Here are a few suggestions on what to add in place of that objective you just backspaced over.

  • A brief testimonial from a previous employer. The best place to find fodder for testimonial snippets are within letters of recommendation written on your behalf. Grab a compelling sentence and put that in place of your objective to infuse your resume with a more unique and "human" feel.
  • Add a handful of concise bullet points that speak to your key skills and professional characteristics. This is a great opportunity to give your resume readers a glimpse of what is to be expanded upon deeper into your resume.
  • Put your education front and center. If you graduated with top honors - especially if that graduation took place at a prestigious university - letting a hiring manager know straight off the bat could help push your resume to the top of the pile.

The moral of this story? Keep your resume file handy and be ready to work on it (again) at a moment’s notice. You never know when things are going to suddenly change. But you certainly want to be able to take advantage of those rapidly morphing trends to maximize your chances of getting noticed among the innumerable legions of other job applicants.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can make your resume pop and find the kind of job you’ve been looking for.

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