In Search of the Resume-saur: Objective

Evolutionary periods of earth development

A nano-moment in time

“…on a resume done as an assignment for English class.”

We are continuing the discussion about resume building. Last week, we reviewed the “heading” of a resume containing the applicant’s legal name and usable contact information.

What follows below the contact information is disputed territory. In ages gone by (as late as 10 years ago) something usually called, “objective” lived here. It was a one-sentence blurb about the job seeker’s intentions that usually went something like this: “Seeking a position in the print media field where my natural talent for writing and English composition skill can be best applied.”…Oh, Margaret!

The only place I see this kind of thing is on a resume done as an assignment for English class. Somewhere out there in the universe must be teachers who have not written a resume in years, still using books dated before my father was born– sometime before WWI. My first resume, done around 1976, had a section like that.

ex stock broker runs away to the circus

Second Career

Welcome to the circus

Please, brothers and sisters: if you have any influence with a very young job seeker this summer, try to dissuade them from writing things like that on their resumes. Here it is: having an objective is not a bad thing in any sense–how else is a target determined in the job search?–but revealing that to a potential employer is an unspeakably brazen act. Guess what else? The potential employer does not give a black cat’s whisker about what the applicant’s star wish is. A potential employer wants to know what the applicant can do to further the goals of the company. This is a circus. What can you do to fulfill the employer’s star wish? Can you dance? Can you sing? Can you jump through hoops? I cannot tell you how long it took me to get this.

Yes! do have an objective. That objective has to be so clear it can be interpreted into a real job title that can be explained to a contact. By all means know what you want to do, where you want to do it and in what context, but keep that information in your marketing planning map until the appropriate time to talk about it.