We received a resume last week with an objective statement that is almost humorous, except that it will probably hurt the job seeker’s chance to find a job. Here’s the objective:
To utilize my technical and management skills acquired over the last 36 years for one more challenge.
Now, this objective misses the mark on a few counts. First, it’s completely general. It says the job seeker wants a job – not much more.
Second, it highlights the job seeker’s age. Will this hurt the job seeker? I don’t know. Discriminating on the basis of age is illegal and wrong, so hopefully this won’t hurt this individual. If it doesn’t hurt, it still won’t help. Stating that the job seeker has 36 years of experience doesn’t add much value (especially since it doesn’t say what the experience is).
Finally, it conveys that the job seeker does not intend to have a lengthy tenure in their next position. Stating that they are looking for “one more challenge” leaves me with the impression that they are biding their time until retirement and intend to have a short tenure. Finding, hiring and training new employees are expensive and time consuming activities. You should not give the impression that you are not going to stick around long enough for a company to recoup their costs. Another individual, regardless of age or background that conveys an image of stability and loyalty will have an edge over this individual.
Now, picture a hiring manager that is looking at two to three hundred resumes for a position. They only have a limited amount of time – maybe an hour or two. So they need to screen several resumes every minute. It’s likely that this individual will get screened out after reading just the objective statement. There’s nothing that will cause the reader to want to read more and there is a big signal that they job seeker will not stick around long. No matter how good the rest of the resume is (and it’s pretty good) there’s a good chance it won’t be read.