An Invective on Resume Objectives Print E-mail

If you are still using an objective on your resume, you are definitely behind the times in terms of job search savvy. Objectives have long given way to strong summaries which have been augmented in recent years with a branding line to establish one’s personal distinction. Unfortunately, we continue to see job seekers using objectives on their resumes.

What is the objective, or purpose, of a resume anyway? The purpose is to spur an interview. Why do people send resumes? They want a job! Thus, an objective statement is redundant on a resume since an objective statement simply states the obvious and tells the reader something that is already understood. Why waste the valuable space at the top of the resume to say something the employer already knows?

Just by their very nature, objective statements are self-serving. They talk about what the job seeker wants, seeks, or demands. Some job seekers think the objective tells the reader what they are targeting but that same message can be better achieved by a good branding line without the “me-focused” wording. Job seekers should be selling their experience, not shopping for jobs. Let’s look at some very self-focused objective statements:

  • “Seeking a position where I can expand my experience, increase my earning capacity, and gain personal enrichment
  • “To obtain a position with a company that rewards hard work, strong ethics, and career experience.”
  • “To work for a company that is green-minded, socially-conscious, and open to out-of-the-box thinking.”

None of these objectives tells the reader anything about the job seeker except what he/she wants FROM the job. These statements do not offer what the job seeker can bring to the company in terms of value or experience. They only focus on the desires of the job seeker.

Companies spend a great deal of money in the hiring process, and they want to know up front what the job seeker can bring to the table. Some job seekers feel they can use a very cleverly worded objective on their resumes. Here are some classic “double-speak” objective statements:

  • “Seeking an opportunity with a forward-thinking company who needs a productive, energetic manager to make an immediate difference in operations.”
  • “Results-oriented professional with over 15 years experience in healthcare seeking an opportunity to make a contribution in a senior managerial position for a national healthcare organization.”
  • “Dynamic sales and marketing professional focused on developing markets, channel relationships, and strategic alliances for a Fortune 500 company with international operations.”

These statements, although couched in better sentence structure than the first group, still have the core focus on the needs of the job seeker. They talk about the type of company targeted, the level of job wanted, and the work environment preferred. There is very little true value being “sold” to the reader.

A much better strategy is to lead with a strong branding line, and follow with a great summary that captures the value the job seeker brings to the employer. It has to be a sales vehicle – not a fishing expedition. A great introductory section to a resume engages the reader, sparks interests, gives a thumbnail sketch of overall qualifications, and results in the employer reading further into the resume for more detail. Here is a sample of a great introductory section:

Entertainment • Partnerships

Seasoned Marketing Specialist and Director with 18+ years of experience fueling revenues and market visibility by spearheading marketing and relationship-building efforts in music, film, home entertainment, publishing, and digital media platforms.

The branding line at the top pinpoints the job seeker’s focus or target while the first sentence presents the value the job seeker offers in terms of experience, abilities, and background across the industry. The bullet points show specific areas of additional benefit he brings with him beyond experience. The entire section piques interest and encourages the employer to read further into the resume for more details.

  • Impact the visibility, profitability, and performance of entertainment products through expert orchestration of strategic marketing and partnership development efforts targeting diverse audiences.
  • Equipped with a strong portfolio of successes contributing to the profitability and success of renowned artists.
  • Build top-performing teams and provide staff with the leadership, resources, and motivation to achieve goals.

A strong summary with a focused branding line is a much better idea than a flimsy, transparent objective and keeps the reader focused on how the job seeker fits the bill. Keep the focus on what you have to offer the employer. Employers are the buyers in the job market!