Resume Builder: Getting the Career Objective Right

Resume Builder: Getting the Career Objective right
Shashikanth Jayaraman
Remember the old proverb “First impression is the best impression”? It baffles me how we clearly miss an opportunity to hit what I call as the “first ball six”. Good english and high flowing vocabulary is misunderstood as an impressive objective. Honesty in career purpose matters a lot. Today, let me help you write a signature statement
Why is a career objective required in a resume?
The face is the index of the mind and so is a career objective to a resume. A great resume will carry a great objective. A career objective is like a bait that needs to pull the attention of an interviewer in about 3 to 5 seconds. The interviewer’s curiosity to read further depends on how much the resume is able to kindle interest in him. A career objective shows what you are interested in. In an era when one is studying mechanical engg and applying for a software development job, it is necessary to firmly establish why a job is being sought after and what are the skills one possesses to qualify for it. It is here that a career objective helps in setting the tone for the rest of the resume
Can I have a resume without a career objective?
Yes. It is perfectly possible to have a resume without a career objective if your experience and achievements outweighs your qualifications . One of the good alternatives to a career objective is a covering letter. A covering letter provides the freedom to elaborate more than the restricted space in a career objective. This is not required if the career objective is present and similarly a career objective is not required if a covering letter is attached. At a fresher level, both are not required
How to write your own career objective?
1. The resume should convey more of what you are and not what you aspire to become. Therefore, create clear and brief statements and abandon the tendency to be lengthy and rich in vocabulary.
2. A career objective must convey what you possess and not what you are seeking from an organisation.
The resume must project what you carry as benefit to an employer. Most of us end up writing about what we want. In an interview, what matters to a recruiter is what he wants. Rather than an objective, mention what you possess.
3. Adopt a ‘Horses for courses’ approach. A candidate interested in Sales & Marketing, will need to have two versions of a resume depending on the opportunity he or she is applying to. The role demands in sales are different from that in marketing and so does the objective
An example of a good objective:  An objective like this one, that is high on superlatives and adjectives, will never help your resume to be unique. “Performance driven professional with excellent team work and leadership skills, who can bring a creative approach to problems and deliver value to an organisation”
whereas the same objective can be rejigged like this
“A sales professional achieving 103% targets over the last 5 years leading a multi-cultural team across 11 locations to reach targeted profits consistently since 2011″
Note the following differences:
1. Performance driven professional is replaced with A professional achieving 103% targets
2. Excellent team work and leadership skills is replaced with leading a multi-cultural team across 11 locations
3. Deliver value to the organisation is replaced with reach targeted profits consistently since 2011
For a fresher, it helps if they are one liners stating what specific area they want to do after their college. A good objective goes like this “Seeking research and development opportunities in Automobile Engineering in India”. A lengthy objective is not to be misconstrued to be a good one
In the next article, I shall dwell on “How long should a resume be?”
Until then, happy learning!
Shashikanth Jayaraman is a Human Resource professional, Motivational speaker, and founder of HR Sangam. He has reached out to develop over 1.9 lakh students over the past decade and is embarking on a mission to transform the capabilities of the student community through his initiative “Present Tense to Future Perfect”. He can be contacted at sk@shashikanthjayaraman.com

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