The resume objective.
Okay, okay, I know that phrase is like a dirty word, especially when you’re going through the emotional stress of wading through job listings and trying to figure out what you wanna be when you grow up. (I’m talking to you, recent college grads and transitioning performers! If you are just starting to put together a #resumethatrules, take a look at easy-to-follow tips here and here.)
But, this one little tiny item on your resume can change everything.
Why? Because it clearly states what you can do for your potential employer.
This cannot be said enough, so I’ll say it again.
An objective statement clearly states what you can do for your potential employer.
Once you have a couple of fancypants jobs under your belt, your experience will do the talking for you and your objective will be less important. Buuuut if you're just getting started, or shifting gears in your career, an objective statement will lay out your skills and goals at a glance.
But Rosie, you’re thinking, I don’t even know how to get started. I don’t know what my potential employer wants, and I can’t do anything special.
Waaaaait a minute there, friend. Though I understand the feeling, you’re completely underselling yourself. Everyone—and I mean everyone—has unique, valuable skills to bring to the table. You just have to honestly assess your bestest, shiniest talents and bring those to the forefront. (If you don’t know what those are, chat with a non-judgey friend to figure them out.)
How can you show off your skills? Well, think of it this way: when you watch a commercial, you probably make a snap judgment about the product based on the information the company gives you. So if you watch a commercial for TJ Maxx, say, the commercial most likely shows hip, trendy folks galavanting around town in their affordable, luxurious clothing. The secret message TJ Maxx is trying to send to your brain is that their discounted prices will allow you to be that hip, trendy person you’ve always wanted to be! In other words, they have identified your problem (you have a limited amount of cash to spend) and your desire (to look awesome), and they’ve provided a solution (shopping at their store).
So when you think about what to write in that oh-so-important objective, consider the employer’s problem (they need someone to do the work that’s piling up in the office) and their desire (to find a competent individual to tackle the pile), and provide a solution (YOU!).
Still confused? I get it. This stuff is really tricky to wrap your mind around. So let’s break it down even further.
Here is a sample objective statement for an entry-level publishing position. (Keep in mind that this is a sample objective statement. It hits all the basics in a clear, concise manner. But there are a million different ways to get the same information across, so you can be a little creative with your business language.)
To find an assistant position at a vibrant company in the publishing world that will offer opportunities for long-term growth and advancement.Superior knowledge of computer systems, editing, and analytics. Strong organizational and multitasking skills. Dynamic team member.
So the formula would be:
To find a [type of position] at [adjective to describe the type of company] company in [your industry] that will [suggest longevity—what would you want from the company if you were there long-term?]. Superior knowledge of [two or three very specific examples of things you're really good at]. Strong [two office skills]. [Confident closing statement about your value as an employee.]
If you’re a list person like me, first write out the bracketed phrases, then mix and match them to create a statement that feels good to you:
[type of position]
[adjective to describe the type of company]
[suggest longevity—what would you want from the company if you were there long-term?]
[two or three very specific examples of things you're really good at]
[two office skills]
[Confident closing statement about your value as an employee.]
And guess what—I’m happy to help! Just post your objective on my Facebook page right here, and I’ll make suggestions, corrections, or give you the Rosie Seal of Approval. Resumes are hard work. And I’m thrilled to make the process a little easier for you.
WANT MORE WRITING TIPS?
MEET ME IN CYBERSPACE AND SIGN UP TO BE A WORDSMITH!
© 2014 Write With Rosie. All Rights Reserved.