Would you hire this person?

This addresses a pet peeve of mine.  And that’s the “Objective” on resumes.

Here is a recent example on a resume submitted for my review:

“To support the growth and profitability of an organization that provides challenge, encourages advancement, and rewards achievement with the opportunity to utilize my experience, skills, and proven abilities.”

Sounds great – would you like to hire this person?  But what do you know about this person?  Is he/she a candidate for flipping hamburgers or for a CEO position?  Does he have skills in supervising, organizing, planning, selling, marketing, etc?  Is she proficient in any computer skills?  We don’t know.  This “Objective” tells us absolutely nothing about the person.  It was a total waste of time on the applicant’s part.

Knowing that most resumes get 30-40 seconds look, you’d better tell the recipient something about yourself that would make them want to see you as a candidate.  IMMEDIATELY!  Begin your resume with a Skills Summary, Profile, or Expertise.  Here’s an example:

Skills Summary:

“Over 14 solid years in technology planning and management.  Experienced in strategic systems, organizing and overseeing projects.  Knowledgeable in R&D, product development, and financial management.  Team player in maintaining company policies and procedures.  Expertise with IT businesses, especially those with complex technical, logistical and implementation challenges.”

Don’t waste your time with generic lead-ins that get you sent to the bottom of the pile.  Use your 30 seconds to convey your “unique value.”

From Chapter 6 – 48 Days to the Work You Love

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  • So true Dan. I review hundreds of resumes every month and I never look at the Objective. It  just takes up real estate on a resume and provides no value. I always coach people to use that space to communicate specific skills or experience that is relevant to the position they are seeking. 

  • Very vaulable advice. Too many people are stuck in the old way of resume’s and getting hired, wake up! You have to stand out from the thousands of other people trying to get the same job!

  • MIVeteransServices

    Maybe I would hire this person. You wouldn’t know until you actually conducted an interview. So my question would be, would this help this candidate get an interview? That would depend. In my world, if this was coupled with “U.S. Veteran” – that would increase the odds dramatically. Being a Vet has many implications or at least assumptions – which would then be confirmed in an interview situation. We encourage opportunities for Vets for many reasons. 1) Being the WOTC – tax credit that the employer receives for hiring a Vet and 2) Skills that the Vet brings to the job – http://www.mitalent.org/benefits-of-hiring-veterans/ Granted, these are general assumptions, but should be enough to get a shot!

  • Izmael Arkin

    My instinct on the first objective is: depends on the interview… Which basically means they probably wouldn’t even get an interview. When we are able to convey our passion people can feel it and they are drawn to it. When we don’t convey passion that is also felt.

    I have been doing some research on blogging and I went to one site recently that looked spiffy perfect clean. Yet, I was really turned off by it. As I went through some videos and articles it seemed to fit everything on the “good design, good blog checklist”. I coudn’t put my finger on it and then it all clicked. It felt like everything was done by a robot. There was no passion! The result, I haven’t been back there and I won’t be going back there.   

  • Dproulo

    Dan…thanks to what I learned and then taught in the 48 Days Workshop I just coached a gentlemen into do just this.  We sat down for an hour and went through his entire resume and made it pop with action words and skills.


  • Charlotte Hyatt

    That objective statement is the one most colleges encourage you to write. It works for the people the career placement office refers you to for a specific job because those people have already decided to interview and possibly hire you based one their friends recommendation. the placement office leads you to believe that will work in the real world when all it tells the recruiter is that you want a job.

  • Contactwandaj

    Dan, as a resume writer, I totally agree with you! Actually, that person broke all the rules! The resume is supposed to address the core values of the potential employer and that objective is only saying what the applicant is looking for: challenge, advancement and reward. I’ve seen so many resumes with objectives that say absolutely nothing about their skills, abilities or what they’re looking for! Actually, the “objective” as we know it is obsolete. I think if applicants would be more honest about what they can really offer, and not just what they think they’re supposed to say, they would be more successful in their job search. If applicants would study themselves, first, and prayerfully consider what their spiritual gifts are, and then look for a job where they can use their spiritual gifts, then putting their resume together would be a much easier process because they would be writing about what they enjoy doing and what God ordained them to do. Is that just in the ideal world?

  • Wonderful reminder Dan.

    It still amazes me that one of the most prevalent myths is that a good resume will get you the job. 

    Yes… While many job seekers will be expected to have an updated well-done resume, oftentimes people put far to much weight and dependence on it. (It can be a good hiding place though.)