FORGET THE OBJECTIVE: TELL THEM WHAT YOU ARE


I have a suspicion there will be a surge of new jobs available after the new year. This will cause many of us to think about testing the waters and upgrading their careers this fall. Word processors hum as fresh resumes are roll off the Lexmarks.

This begs the question: What will be my objective?

One could be honest and write something like this: “… Seeking a position where I can earn more money than I earn now.” Or “Seeking a position where I can get more holidays than the five weeks per year I get now.”

Both are valid objectives, but they are unlikely to get you to that interview. They don’t give an employer confidence that you are going to show up for work at all.

Resume experts and recruiters are of two minds about the objective. One side thinks you should skip the objective and use that precious space for adding skills. The other school of thought says that the lack of a clear objective might indicate the job seeker lacks goals. Employers are unlikely to interview someone who lacks goals.

Making the perfect resume that appeals to everyone is a crap shoot, and finding the perfect medium between these polar opposites may be just a matter of luck. If you are going to leave your career to luck, you should find a way to lure luck out of hiding.

I have been experiencing a fair bit of luck with my clients by constructing resumes that tell prospective employers what they are rather than what they want.

If you spent the last ten years as an accountant, say that in bold font right below your contact information – in one word, “Accountant.” Your chances for an interview just increased.

But why stop there? Use trilogies.

Trilogies sound attractive. “Blood Sweat and Tears,” “Heads, Hands and Feet,”  and “Crosby Stills and Nash” are memorable bands both because of the music and attractive names.

Trilogies also show versatility. Employers like to hire people who can change their job descriptions to conform to the tasks at hand. If you are an accountant, they may ask you to do some work in Payroll or Accounts Receivable. 

Put these at the top of your resume right after your contact information. In my own case, I can say Mike Broderick:

Employment Specialist   *   Fitness Instructor   *   Really Bad Writer

This way, if I don’t get the job after the interview, I can always show the employer how to do jumping jacks then write bad stories about it later.

Mike Broderick is an employment specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby, BC. You can reach him in the Job Focus Program at 604-473-9363

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