How to improve the objective statement on your resume

Why Your Objective Statement is Costing You the Job, and What to do Instead

Take a look at your resume’s objective statement. What message are you sending?

Here’s what hiring managers know right off the bat: every candidate in the resume pile has the exact same objective. Every one of them wants to get hired for the job. No matter how fancy or polite you describe your objective, it’s the same as everyone else’s. You want him to hire you.

Today, the battle to win most open jobs is more competitive than ever. Employers aren’t seeking to meet the career objective you’ve written at the top of your resume. They’re looking for someone to effectively plug the hole that’s open in their organization. Are you the right fit?

Since that’s the case, how can you put that space at the top of your resume to work for you? What should someone see when he cracks your resume open for the first time? With the right approach and an eye on the goal, you can present yourself as the one managers want to talk to next.

If there’s no traditional objective statement, what do you do instead?

Qualifications Summary

Is the Objective Statement on Your Resume Hampering Your Job Search?

Pack the top of your resume with power. How? With a highlight reel of the best you have to offer.

Athletes do this whenever they want to be recruited by universities out of high school. They create a highlight tape of their best plays. At a glance, coaches get the best impression possible about what kind of athlete they’d be getting.

Your resume can pack that same punch. Pair your presentation down to the essentials. Only include information pertinent to the job you’re after. Make a compelling case that you’re the best recruit in the lot, or hire someone who can make that case with your resume.

Then, determine the most important five or six points that sell your story. Gather them at the top of your resume in a summary paragraph filled with action-packed, attention-getting sentences that put your best foot forward. Put this paragraph at the top, so recruiters and managers know you mean business.

Make the most of the few seconds someone glances at your resume. Deliver quick-hitting highlights that bolster your case and maximize your strengths. Your phone will ring, because managers will see that you’re in it to win it and you have what it takes.

Branding Statement

Crafting a winning resume is all about creating brand awareness. Businesses spend millions of dollars for 30 seconds of your attention during the Super Bowl, because they believe they can convince you to buy their product or use their service in that little amount of time.

That’s the job of your resume: to present yourself as an attractive brand. Instead of the old, stale objective, which doesn’t support your goals, why not begin with a branding statement that states what you have to offer?

In one or two sentences, what differentiates you from everyone else? Why should an employer give you a second look, in a nutshell? Boil the essence of what makes you great down to a couple sentences, and give that highlight reel a prominent position atop your resume. Let the data that follows expand on the teaser you gave in the introduction.

What should you include? Think through your career history, and brainstorm a list of qualities and attributes that make you a winner. Make the list as long as possible, without editing yourself. Write fast.

What gets you fired up in the workplace? What makes you want to pump your fist in celebration? What are the greatest victories you’ve accomplished? What are your favorite moments? Write those down.

What problems did you help avoid at previous jobs? What solutions did you offer that worked out well? How did you lower the cost of doing business? How did you improve the office’s efficiency? What did you accomplish that no one else was able to accomplish? What made you indispensable? Which of the company’s goals did you exceed?

Ask yourself these questions to get your mind rolling, and don’t stop writing until your list is long. Step away for a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee, and relax. Come back to your “attaboy” list when you’re fresh.

Now think in terms of what the employer is looking for. What do you bring to the table that matches or exceeds their expectations for the person they’ll plug into this position? Let the cream of the crop rise to the top of your mind as you consider what makes you the perfect match.

That’s what should go at the top of your resume. That’s what will win you the interview.

Precise, Targeted Objective

If you still feel that a more traditional objective statement is the way to go, make it work for you. Don’t be vague or generic. Instead, specifically state that you are after one specific position in this company. Any old job won’t do.

When your objective statement is specific and tailored to a single employer, you tell him you mean business. You’re not just throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. If you’re that serious about getting the job, maybe you’ll be that serious about doing a good job. And that’s what wins interviews.

Not sure how to make the most of your talents so that employers call you and hire you? I can help. Give me a call at 321-442-7994, and let’s talk about how I can help you to put your best foot forward and get hired faster.


Make an investment in your future with a resume / CV and cover letter written by Vivian Adkins, CPRW of Foremost Resumes. Foremost Resumes offers affordable resume writing services – resume prices are published here. If you have any questions about my resume services, call or text 1-321-442-7994.

Resume writing services include:

-Executive Resume Package
-Professional Resume Package
-Entry Level Resume Package for Graduates
-Military Resume Package
(LinkedIn Profile Improvement Add-On Service available for all resume writing packages)

If you found this post helpful, I’d be grateful if you would help spread it by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+.

Thank you!

—Vivian Adkins, Resume Writer at Foremost Resumes

About Author

Vivian Adkins, CPRW
Vivian Adkins, CPRW is the owner of Foremost Résumés and a Certified Résumé Writer. On this blog you can learn about résumés, how LinkedIn can help with your job search, how to conduct an online job search, and more.
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