How to Craft a Winning Resume Objective
In a nutshell, resume goals are few pithy phrases at the top of an impressive resume that details your qualifications, clearly describe who you are to an employer, and reveal what you have to offer them. Many people skip this section of a resume and understandably so. After all, it is difficult to put forth your best foot forward and present yourself in the best possible light if you leave out the very first bullet point. But this doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with including objectives; it simply means that you need to be sure that they are included.
Now, as I said, it is common practice to write the objectives in the first or second sentence of the resume, but this can be problematic. The problem is that your readers do not know what your goals are unless you tell them! Therefore, don’t rely on this alone; utilize the third sentence of your objective to explain your skills and experiences that are relevant to the position. Here is a step-by-step process that will help you do just that:
Include a career objective. This can be accomplished in two ways – you can include it in your resume as the first sentence of the career objective, or you can add a sentence or two to the career objective in your cover letter. The purpose here is simply to provide the reader with a clear understanding of where you want to go with your career. If you choose the second option, remember to make sure that your career objective is able to be changed when necessary in order to meet the requirements of the job.
Describe your work experience. Your resume objective has a specific purpose; therefore, you must also identify how much experience you possess under your belt. You can do this by writing down your highest level positions (such as assistant to someone who is in management). If you are looking for a more flexible position, work experience can be left off altogether. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more specific position such as marketing assistant, you may want to include the details of what work experience you have had.
Define your skills. As stated above, the purpose of a resume objective statement is to provide a clear sense of direction for your career. This means that you must identify exactly what skills you possess that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Again, do not fall into the trap of listing irrelevant experience. A resume objective statement will usually provide a link between your skills and your ideal candidate.
State your strengths. In the last two steps, you used strong language (often describing your position in detail). This will likely come across as being similar to those written in a job ad, so it is best to use strong words only. Also, avoid the temptation to oversell yourself: your resume objective should merely state your strengths in a general way. Do not promise to be the best at everything; instead, list your ideal candidate’s strongest skill sets and explain how these skills would benefit the position you are seeking.
State your skills summary statement. The skills summary statement is usually located at the very bottom of the resume objective. It lists your most recent employment history, educational background, awards and certifications, and skills that are relevant to the job seeker’s job. The summary statement is often called the “cluster key,” as it describes a key area of your expertise that is important to your ideal job. However, be careful not to turn your resume objective into a bullet point list; a resume objective should be descriptive and targeted toward a specific type of job.
Add value. The last step of crafting a resume objective is to add value to the document by describing your unique qualities that make you a great candidate for the job. Recruiters look for candidates who are able to add real value to their employer’s business. Therefore, it is important that you demonstrate your strong traits by explaining why you would be an excellent fit for the company. For example, if you are a seasoned sales professional who sells to a wide variety of clients, include language describing your experience in detail and showing that you can successfully reach those clients with a sales approach that fits your company’s needs.