Resume Objectives That Guarantee You Won't Get Hired

Be warned: there are two major ways to screw up an objective statement!

Amber Shiflett |

I work as a recruiter for a large insurance company, and lately I’ve seen a lot of resumes that would have been better off without an objective statement. These days, you don’t need to include an objective on your resume, but some people still do. Be warned: there are two major ways to screw up an objective statement:

  1. Not matching your application to the position you’ve applied to or

  2. Writing an objective so painfully bland that it could apply to virtually anything

Let’s discuss some examples.

Objectives that have nothing to do with the job

Although our company has many different types of positions we look to fill on an ongoing basis, there are some pretty obvious backgrounds that will not be a fit for our company. These are actual objectives from resumes I've received in the last week alone (and remember – I work at at an insurance company):

  • "To obtain a position as an engineering specialist in the field of maintenance"

  • "To obtain a part-time tutoring position in Chemistry or Mathematics"

  • "To obtain a position as a food server"

  • "To continue my career as a veterinary assistant"

  • "To get a position as an oilfield rig hand"

  • "Seeking a challenging Architectural Design/Drafter position"

  • "To re-enter the Beauty Industry"

  • "To obtain a long-term position as an Estate Manager for a celebrity"

So really here, what am I supposed to do with these people? It makes me mad that they expect me to take my time seriously considering their resume when they clearly couldn't even take two minutes to at least adjust their objective to generically match my particular job description or just remove it completely. They have shown me that they are either careless or unwilling to make this small adjustment; so I don't feel one ounce of regret when I shred their applications.

Objectives that make me yawn

They are either so ridiculously generic or unbelievably plain that it makes the chances of the job seeker getting an interview with my boss slim to none.

Here are some objectives I've received recently:

  • "To grow personally and excel professionally"

  • "To obtain a full time position"

  • "To perform or expand my abilities"

  • "To seek employment with a company that recognizes one's natural desire to embrace and take on new challenges, who encourages growth and always offers the ability for advancement"

  • "To further my knowledge in the booming economy"

  • "To better myself"

  • "To utilize a position in a company where I may utilize my skills. And/or professional growth."

  • "To fulfill my desire to work for a group that is looking for an extremely intelligent individual much like myself."

  • "Securing a job with an established organization that could lead into a fortuitous and lasting relationship."

  • "To climb the ladder of success"

  • "Financial security"

  • "To obtain employment with a company or institution that would allow me to continue to enhance my skills in business or related areas."

  • "To do my best and give my all in everything that I do, I don't like to do things halfway I always like to complete it or not do anything at all."

Do you see what I mean here? The statements aren’t really saying anything unique that relates to the hiring process, and that space could have been used for something meaningful like a profile of skills or a list of education and accolades… Or the job seeker could have just jumped right in with a list of work experience.

So just say no to objectives; you'll place yourself miles above the rest of the crowd.

Happy resume writing!