What objective statements really mean, and why they don’t work

Once upon a time, in a high school classroom about ten years ago, we were all taught that objective statements were the best way to begin your resume. If you are still following this strategy, this is the number one reason why your resume is not getting you interviews.

The introduction to your resume is your “make it or break it” chance to catch the Hiring Manager’s attention. We’ve all heard, time and time again, that Hiring Managers and Recruiters are only looking at our resumes for about 7-10 seconds, so we have to make every word count.

objective marketer What objective statements really mean, and why they dont work

Definition

By definition, objective statement basically means what I want. Seems like a rude way to begin a conversation about your career, no? And if you don’t think it’s rude, you must understand the redundancy of it.

You are stating that you want a job like the one that you are applying for. Well, if you didn’t want the job, why would you be applying for it? See what I mean.

Example: “I am currently seeking a position where I can leverage my academic background and professional experience in financial analysis as a Financial Accountant.”

Effectiveness

The objective statement is ineffective because it is telling the Hiring Manager what they already know. You should be using the introduction of your resume to tell the Hiring Manager what they want to hear.

Think of it like a mental checklist for the Hiring Manager, and address each of the minimum qualifications right at the top of your resume so they know you’re qualified for the role.

Example: “A financial analysis professional offering 5 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, and advanced skills in accounting, auditing and financial reporting.”

Alternative

A value statement is the new and improved objective statement. To get an edge on your competition, you should be telling the Hiring Manager what you can offer in this role, and what your inherent value is.

In this value statement, you should address the minimum requirements of the position as we already mentioned, but more importantly – you must catch the hiring manager’s interest.

How do you do that? Tell them something they weren’t expecting to hear, and position it as a skill that will benefit their company. You want to show the Hiring Manager that out of all the people who are qualified for this role, you are the only candidate that will bring additional skills to go above and beyond.

Example: “A financial analysis professional offering 5 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, and advanced skills in accounting, auditing and financial reporting. Demonstrated record of success in eliminating inefficiencies to drastically reduce audit times. Implemented an effective financial reporting system to efficiently track progress and accurately forecast upcoming quarters. Currently pursuing the Chartered Accountant designation as further professional development.”

In the three examples above, you can see how the objective statement morphs into a value statement, and how including achievements in your resume introduction can peak the reader’s interest. Ensure to include highlights that demonstrate how you benefitted the company, and the Hiring Manager will move your resume to the top of the pile.

 

If you’re not sure if your value statement is giving a Hiring Manager the right impression, talk to one of our resume experts and they’ll be happy to help!

 What objective statements really mean, and why they dont work

About Nikki Gill


Nikki Gill is the content editor at Resume Target and blogs at ResumeTarget.com. Nikki is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Journalism and has written resumes for job seekers at all career levels from students to C-level executives.

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  • http://www.jumpstartinc.org Jeremy Quinn

    Great point! I always remove my candidate’s objective statements prior to submitting. They never help and can only hurt a candidate’s chances at an interview.

    • http://www.resumetarget.com/index ResumeTarget.com

      That’s a great practice Jeremy, you are definitely helping your candidates by making that one change to their resume. Thanks for the comment!