Including an Objective Statement: The Resume Killer

In an earlier post about resume mistakes, I mentioned that including an objective in your professional resume is a kiss of death. Hiring managers do not know you, do not care about you, and do not want to know you. So writing anything that starts with “I want” is going to kill your nascent relationship with the hiring manager, who does not care that you like people, communicate well, or want to increase your responsibilities.

Your job is to make hiring managers want to read your professional resume and learn something special about you. They want to know what makes you different and what makes you the right one for the job.

You can make that happen with by nixing the objective statement and overhauling your resume with a branding statement that blows your reader away. Remember, all hiring managers are hoping that the resume they are reading now is owned by their next great hire. All you have to do is convince them that you are the right one and make them want to pick up the phone and dial your cell.

Does this sound intimidating?

Write for Your Audience While Writing about You

The easiest solution to the problem of why an objective statement is the worst opener for a great resume begins with your sitting down with yourself and asking yourself what makes you great.

Your answers to that very general question must be very specific. They have to address your specific history and your specific abilities and skills. Some examples of these answers can include the following.

  • You drive $X revenue per year
  • You manage distributed teams for a global company
  • You have the reputation of being the go-to expert on some critical industry topic
  • You find revenue when the economy is down by increasing wallet share
  • You build operations departments for car dealerships in the deep south where the organizational silos divide every employee into either “parts” or “service.”

What You Have to Do Now

Of course, these are only examples. You can’t copy these for your own resume. Why not? Because these are made-up examples. They refer to nobody in particular, certainly not you. A famous person once said that the right answer is usually the most difficult, costly, and frustrating.

You have to pick up a pencil and pad and start to brainstorm about what makes you great. That is the only answer. But when you finally have that answer, and you are confident that the words represent you the way you want to portray your brand of excellence, you will start to notice something remarkable that might not have happened before.

Your phone will start to ring.

Your professional resume will start to get you those interviews you have been after, because you are starting to show the value that you offer to a hiring manager. You will show in your professional resume that you have done A, B, and C before, and you are likely to be able to achieve those types of results again.

Learn why your executive resume isn’t making the cut: Top 5 Resume Mistakes That Say “Don’t Hire Me”

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  • — By Amy L. Adler, CEO, Executive Resume Writer and Career Coach. Amy has won twice in the global TORI Awards for Best Executive Resume. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.

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