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Resume Objectives ... The Hidden Pitfalls
Why Use Resume Objectives
Before we can discuss the pitfalls you first need to understand the reasons for including your resume objectives and how they relate to your resume and interview selection process.
Including an objectives section at the beginning of your resume provides a brief introduction to the purpose of the resume, highlighting your career objectives and the type of job you are seeking.
It is very common for job-seekers to include a brief objectives section at the beginning of their resume The objectives section can be an important part of a resume, and might be the first thing employers looks at. Therefore you should put considerable thought into constructing focused and clear objectives.
Look At These Resume Objective Examples
A resume objective does exactly what the name suggests; it highlights your objectives and states the type of job you are seeking.
Here are some examples of career objectives:
ˇ To obtain an elementary education teaching position with upward mobility to a principalship.
ˇ To obtain a position in manufacturing operations and development which will utilize acquired knowledge and collective experience.
ˇ Public relations writer for a large metropolitan hospital. ˇ Auditor position in the public accounting field in the Philadelphia area.
As you can see, the objectives are short and sweet; meaning they are to the point in describing the purpose of creating your resume.
Doorway To The Interview... Resumes
What is a resume... usually it is the first contact you have with potential employers. It is also where you list your skills and create a marketable presentation so that companies understand the benefits of employing you.
Your resume is also the first (and possibly the last!) opportunity you have to persuade your prospective employer to give you an interview.
Clearly... it is in your best interests to ensure your resume is compelling enough to leave the recruiter with no other option but to invite you to an interview.
If you want to learn more about writing resumes that get interviews, visit a site such as Top Career Resumes where you will find numerous articles and tips.
Or, if you prefer... a cost effective alternative is to use a resume writing service to prepare your resume for you.
Pitfalls of Using Resume Objectives
You may have noticed that all previous references to objectives focus on you and therein lies the pitfall !
Employers are not interested in what you want ...
If your objectives fail to match those of the employer, you will not even get to first base ! So keep your options open until you find out more about their objectives.
Some people decide to omit the objectives section and use that space to highlight other abilities and accomplishments. Whether you choose to use resume objectives or not will depend greatly on your particular situation.
Reasons Against ...
A few experts feel that the resume objectives section can be limiting to job seekers. It makes you be very specific as to your goals. This may be constraining if you want to be general and leave your options open.
Employers on average take only 30 seconds to look at a resume. The objectives section is the first thing that catches their eye. If you have a specific objective written, for example to obtain a managerial position, the manager may pass on your resume if he was looking for some other position.
If you are thinking about getting a professionally written resume, now would be a good time.
However, remember that the objectives section can disqualify you for jobs different from your stated objective... if you are not looking for a targeted job you can skip the section without many negative consequences.
It would be advisable to skip the resume objective section rather than be too vague. Unfocused objectives will put off many hiring managers. They may not end up looking at your experience and skills, which would of shown you to be a suitable candidate for the job.
Reasons For ...
If you do include your resume objectives, you should construct several different resumes, each specifically tailored to the job you are applying for. You will want to make your resume relevant to each job. The objectives section may be the best way to create job specific resumes.
A draw back of not including the objectives section is that a hiring manager may not be willing to search your resume to figure out your job objectives and goals... and may bypass your resume.
If you have a specific job position in mind and are clear about your objectives, this section can be useful in informing potential employers about your reasons for applying.
In either case, it may pay you to seek professional advice before you make your final decision. The modest cost of doing this pales into insignificance compared with the cost of making a poor career decision.
Stating Your Resume Objectives
This has greatest benefits for career changers and recent college graduates. Your objectives should be concise and to the point, to quickly inform employers about your background and goals.
Entry-level workers can state in their resume objectives that they are recent graduates looking for positions in their particular field. Career changers should state how they can use their previously earned skills to make a transition into their new career.
Be Employer Focused
An alternative to resume objectives might be the 'Qualifications Summary' section. This is a section where you can briefly discuss your skills and how you intend to use them.
This can make your resume more employer focused, as the employer wants to find out what you can do for them. This might be more beneficial than having a self-focused resume, simply listing what you want to do.
Many employers prefer to have employees that are focused on their goals and motivated to achieving them. A well presented objective can be just the high-impact tool that can get a hiring manager's attention from the start.
When writing your resume objectives you have to consider your career plans. If you have not already done so, now would be a good time to get assistance with career assessment and planning.
When you have completed your planning and taken some time to match your interests with your chosen career, your resume objectives should complement the results you obtained through your searches.
Roger Clark (BSc) has over 25 years experience in career development & recruitment at a senior level through top management positions he has held with major international companies.
You can visit his "Top Career Resumes" website for a wealth of top quality information relating to the employment market.
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