One of the most common questions I get from people sitting down to write their resume from scratch is this:
Do I put an objective on my resume?
My simple answer to this very important question is NO.
Let me explain why.
Some of you may remember back in the day when objectives were commonplace and not only completely accepted on a resume, but also expected. If you aren't quite as old as I am (ahem) and were completely oblivious to this fact, that more than likely means you are a job seeker brand new to the work force. You probably never would have even known about Objectives at all until your parents or some equally caring and concerned "older generation" type insisted that you put one on your sparkling curriculum vitae. It's quite confusing isn't it?
So let's take a moment to analyze exactly why I want everyone to back away from objectives, shall we?
Today's economy is different.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you this, oh persistent job seeker. It's downright rough trying to land a job these days, what with all the hundreds and possibly thousands of people that are also out of work competing for the same positions you are.
That's why we need to make sure your resume stands out from the crowd (in a good way).
Putting an objective on your resume will do more damage than good as it immediately does one of two things in the eyes of a recruiter such as myself… It either:
A) Makes us mad
B) Puts us to sleep
Making us want a nap is definitely the better of the two options, but if you want to make a great impression – avoid writing boring resume objectives. Right now what I bet you’re really wondering is:
How could an objective possibly make somebody mad?
That seems a little over the top, doesn't it? Well, here's how.
Due to the fact that there are more "fish in the pond" for recruiters to choose from, people are getting a bit more desperate, plain and simple. They somehow have to feed their families and pay the rent, and like pronto, right? I get that, but from what I've noticed, the latest trend seems to be job seekers applying for a lot of positions, some of which they wouldn't normally bother with because they aren't getting any responses from potential employers on the ones they want.
So in their haste applying to a whole bunch of different jobs all at once, they forget the fact that they'd listed an objective on their resume that doesn't align with the actual job they are applying for. The existing objective was geared toward the real job they originally wanted. And believe me when I tell you, us Resume Reviewers, we notice stuff that a job seeker might consider a "minor detail" like an objective not matching the position we're looking to fill.
If you decide to include an objective on your resume, just make sure it’s relevant to the job you are applying for.