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Resume Objectives in 5 Easy Steps

        posted by , February 25, 2013

Objectives are both the easiest and most important part of your resume.

They are your short pitch to your perspective employer. They ask for the job. They make a promise to succeed. That's all they do.

These 5 steps will help you write compelling objectives for your resume every time.

1. Keep It Short and Simple

Your objectives state what you're looking for — keep them simple.

Employers use your objectives to confirm that you're asking for the type of job that they're offering.

Employers skim resumes, especially when they're checking your objectives. Make your objectives easy to read.

Example: Short and Sweet Objectives

Seeking a IT management position that leverages my 16 years of results managing IT teams.

2. Sell Yourself

Since most employers read objectives first, it's a good idea to sell yourself a little.

Avoid making your objectives all about you. Tell your perspective employer about your accomplishments. Tell them what you'll deliver. Tell them you want a challenge.

Choose your pitch and deliver it.

Example: Selling Yourself

Sales management position that will leverage my ability to motivate teams, manage relationships and close deals.

3. Be Specific

Tailor your objectives for each position.

If your posting your resume online you may need to make your objectives somewhat generic. However, if you (or your agent) are submitting your resume to an employer you should customize it.

State that you're looking for the exact position being offered. This eliminates any doubt that you're interested.

If you're applying for a Marketing Management Position in Manhattan your objectives should mention a Marketing Management Position in Manhattan.

Seeking a marketing management or director level position that leverages my track record of delivering brand value and developing market leading products. Also willing to discuss sales or advertising positions that might leverage my experience.

Seeking a Marketing Management Position in Manhattan that leverages my track record of delivering brand value and developing market leading products.

The first objective sounds desperate and wishy-washy. The second is bang on. This professional is asking for the job we're offering!

4. Don't BS

No need for flowery objectives and wild promises. Be optimistic about yourself and the position but don't cross the BS line.

Thought leading, hard working, highly results oriented, creatively innovative IT architect with 20+ years experience looking for a very challenging IT architecture position.

IT architect position that challenges an architect with a 20+ year track record of delivering successful projects.

Nobody cares if you think you're great. They want to hear what you've achieved. At least, they want to hear your commitment to achieve.

5. Accomplishment Above Experience

Mentioning your experience in the wrong way can be a mistake.

Avoid making your experience sound like an entitlement (I've been working at this for 25 years, so I deserve this job!).

Emphasize results over experience.

Sales manager with 10+ years managing and 25+ years selling seeking a challenging sales management position in the aircraft industry that will leverage my experience.

Aircraft sales management position for an accomplished sales leader who closed 100+ deals last year.

The first objective might suggest that you've lingered in the industry for a long time without many results. The second clearly speaks to results.

This is part of the ongoing series of articles called how to win your next job.

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