In the old days, the most typical and ubiquitous format of resumes looks like this:
- Contact information
- An objective statement
- A listing of prior jobs
- Candidate’s education
It begins with a now “obsolete” objective statement with the underlying message saying, “Here’s what I’m looking for. If this is what you offer, give me a call.” These objective statements also serve as the candidate’s wishlist which more or less reads, “Seeking long-term job with excellent benefits, yearly bonus, and promotion potential at a stable employer with a wonderful work environment.”
But it the objective statement really obsolete? Lily Zhang of The Muse notes:
Ask three people to look over your resume, and you’ll get three different perspectives on what should and shouldn’t be on there.
Yet, somehow, pretty much everyone agrees that objective statements are out of fashion.
However, a lot has changed through time. Of course, the assumption for applying to a certain position is that getting the job is your objective. Today, the recruiter or the hiring manager’s task is also not about fulfilling ‘what you want’. Their job is to meet the employer’s needs.
A successful resume today replaces the “this is what I want” objective statement with a “this is the value that I offer” branding statement. In fact, putting an objective statement can ‘do you more damage than good’. So, instead of objective statements, craft branding statements instead. Most call these “Executive Summary,” a “Professional Profile” or an “Executive Profile”
Swap a Boring Objective Statement for a Compelling Branding Statement
Instead of a boring, redundant, meaningless objective statement, craft a concise, clear, and compelling branding statement instead.
Your branding statement is not a summary of your resume. It is not a list of your skills either. Rather, it is your elevator pitch. As such, in your 30 to 60-second elevator pitch, you must put forward the most concise answer to the question: “What can you tell me about yourself?”
A good branding statement clearly lay down your attributes, your uniqueness, and your value. It must answer three basic areas:
- What I can do for you;
- What I am professionally passionate about; and
- What differentiates my professional experience from the others
Passionate humanitarian with a commitment to achieving social justice through the development of international literacy projects. Skilled in program management and project development with expertise in non-profit administration, board and volunteer development, marketing, and human resources management and staffing.
Award-winning newspaper and website editor, adept in community relations, managing staff, and growing print circulation and online readership, with a flair for identifying important local stories and building community awareness.
A talented educational leader with teaching and administrative experience dealing with students, faculty, and staff at all levels. Served students with diverse backgrounds and abilities as teacher and mentor. Possess special expertise and experience in music education. Experienced working in public, religious, and correctional settings.
Trudy Steinfeld of Forbes says, “Don’t worry about an objective – employers will skip over this, or worse, will screen your resume out based on an objective that is not a perfect match for the job they are hiring for. Instead let your experience, skills and results-driven descriptions make the case for you.” So, use the space for a branding statement instead.
The Balance. (2017). Does a Resume Need an Objective?. [online] Available at: https://www.thebalance.com/does-a-resume-need-an-objective-4044403 [Accessed 3 Oct. 2017].
Themuse.com. (2014). When It’s OK to Use a Resume Objective Statement. [online] Available at: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-only-time-its-ok-to-use-an-objective-statement-on-your-resume [Accessed 3 Oct. 2017].