Editing an Objective Statement

I reviewed the resume of a job seeker yesterday that had a fairly typical objective statement. Here’s how the statement read:

To advance toward a <Job Title> role in a large <business type and industry> while developing valuable experience that will be benefit my career advancement.

This is ok. It’s clear and concise. Most importantly, it gives a specific objective. The worst objectives are the very general statements that really don’t say anything. For example:

To obtain a position that will utilize my skills and abilities and provide profession growth while benefiting the company.

Writing a general statement like this is a wait of space. The example from the job seeker is a vast improvement over the general one, but it’s still not great.

Let’s look at how we rewrote the objective. The first thing we did was change the “Objective” section to the “Executive Summary.” The job seeker had a number of very impressive accomplishments buried on the second page of their resume. We moved them to the top and grouped them with the objective statement.

We then rewrote the objective to be a sales pitch instead of a wish list. Your resume is designed to sell you’re background and potential to an employer to get you an interview. Focusing the most prominent sentence on your resume on what you want isn’t a good sales pitch. You need to include what you are pursuing, but wrapping in a statement of your qualifications is a good way to go.

Here’s the new executive summary we developed:

Exceptionally detailed and organized <Current Job Title> with a seven year track record of accomplishment in increasingly challenging roles with a large scale <business type and industry> interested in advancing towards a <Job Title> role.

  • Bullet with an accomplishment
  • Bullet with an accomplishment
  • Bullet with an accomplishment
  • Bullet with an accomplishment

This statement is much better than the original. It focuses on the strengths of the job seeker, while still mentioning their career goal. It reinforces the pattern of success the job seeker has had with a statement of their “track record of accomplishment” and “increasingly challenging roles.”

Most importantly, the exec summary doesn’t just say that the job seeker is good – it shows how successful the individual has been with the accomplishment bullets. Each was two to three sentences and described a significant project or challenge that showed the job seeker’s success.