JEAN'S BLOG. Best & Next Practices in: Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Should You Include an Objective on Your Resume?

Posted by Jean Cummings

Oct 29, 2012 3:01:00 PM

 image gatekeeper

If you look at resume from the nineties or earlier you will commonly see objective statements starting off resumes. They would read something like this:

Objective: A sales job where I can contribute to a company's growth while continuing to advance my career.

Do you want to write this kind of objective statement on your resume these days? NO! This kind of objective statement is an indication that you have not kept up with the times. Even more importantly, recruiters - internal and external - don't care in the least about the benefits you will receive - only the benefits their organization will receive.

Why write this blog post at all, since most people know not to write the old-fashioned kind of objective statement? Because there are reasons why including an objective on your resume is absolutely critical!

1. If you don't say right at the top what position you are seeking - the exact title - the recruiter may not spend the time to figure out which of the several titles you've held - or some other - you are going after! You have only about 120 seconds to provide the recruiter with a "fast match" between your resume and the open job. Make it as easy as possible!

2. If you don't include the position title you are going after - even if you haven't held that one exactly - software used to process resumes will likely not retrieve your resume in a keyword search by a recruiter. And all your time and effort on your resume will be wasted! With 70% of large companies using Applicant Tracking Systems, you can't afford to leave out a critical title keyword!

Here are a couple of examples of ways to use objectives in contemporary resumes. Give your resume a heading, often a title. That's easy if you are a VP of IT and those are the only jobs you are applying for. But what if you've been an VP of IT and you want to apply to a CIO job? You'll want to be sure that title and keyword are prominently featured in your resume. Here's an example:

Targeting: VP of IT / VP of Information Technology | CIO / Chief Information Officer

Under that title, put your branding statement, industry, areas of specialty, or key selling points, whichever is the most strategic. But by including the word "targeting" and the exact position title you are applying for you will allow the reader to immediately categorize you as someone at the right level. Including both the title you currently hold and the title you aspire to also provides you with the critical keywords for electronic processing of your resume.

To make it even more complex, if you are sending your resume to a networking contact and tell him or her that you are looking for the top IT management position in a company, you have to do something more. Since the top tech person in the company goes by different titles depending on a number of factors - such as the size and history of the company - you'll need to cover the waterfront:

Targeting: VP of IT / VP of Information Technology | CIO / Chief Information Officer | Senior Director of IT / Senior Director of Information Technology

That way you enable a "fast match" when a hiring authority or recruiter considers your resume for a particular job and job title. You also have provided the necessary keywords to keep your title options open. Notice that I spelled out "IT" so that either "VP of IT" or "VP of Information Technology" will capture search engine attention.

We've devoted a lot of time in this post to a small number of words on your resume, but they are critical ones. So think like a time-challenged recruiter and like a computer to increase your chances of being considered for a job!

Image Credit: clouducation.wordpress.com/


 

 

 

more

Topics: resume, resumes, resume writing, sample objectives, resume objectives, resume objective

5 Tips for Writing a Killer LinkedIn Profile from Your Branded Resume

Posted by Jean Cummings

Jul 13, 2012 12:03:00 PM

writing a LinkedIn profile 

The LinkedIn Profile is now the cornerstone of your career communications. It is gradually, along with other social media sites and Google results, supplanting the resume as an introduction to you as a job candidate. For those of you who are writing your own profiles from your branded resume, I have put together 5 critical tips:

1. Your Professional Headline

- Make sure you have the title you are seeking in your Professional Headline. You can usually find the title at the top of your resume.

- If you can fit it into your allotted 120 characters, include a “reason to hire.” Your “reason to hire” is your value proposition, the value your bring to the table ($$ in revenue enabled, $$ costs cut, functionality improved, etc.)

2. Summary

- The summary is different from the profile on your resume. Keep it to no more that 3-4 short paragraphs.

- Make it less formal than your resume. Use your own “voice” to express your career brand* and your personal brand**.

- Present a quick overview of your career, particularly the last 8 years. Avoid going into detail.

- Include the top accomplishments – if possible, in terms of dollars or percentages.

- Let your personal brand shine through.

3. Skills & Expertise

- Populate your “Skills & Expertise” section with the keywords appropriate to your job target. These are often the same as the skills list that is part of your resume profile.

- Build these keywords into the Summary in a natural way as much as you are able.

4. Experience

- You want the information under the workplaces to be shorter than in your resume.

- Select your most standout contributions. You will find them standing out in your resume. Write them up using bullets.

- Include a brief snapshot of “Scope” – Number of reports, budgets managed, chief areas of accountability, etc.

5. Recommendations

- Get recommendations from people you work with or have worked with: bosses, reports, colleagues, vendors etc.

- Give them some ideas about what to write. Get these from your resume. Anything they can say that will reinforce your brand or one/many of your accomplishments will make your profile even stronger.

 

* Your Career Brand & **Personal Brand

- Your career brand has to do with your position (title, function, industry) and what you uniquely bring to the table (value proposition).

- Your personal brand has to do with the qualities of your personality, character, and style that are part of what make you successful.

 

 

Character Limits

Headline: 120 Chars

Company name: 100 Chars

Summary: 2000 Chars

Skills: 25 skills up to 61 Chars each

Position Title: 100 Chars

Position Description 200 Chars minimum, 2000 max

Interests: 1000 Chars

more

Topics: job search, personal branding, career brand, branded executive resume, resume writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing

A Good Idea to Include Activities & Interests on Your Resume?

Posted by Jean Cummings

Nov 9, 2010 11:00:00 AM

Add "sailing" to your sales resume?

There's been a trend in resume writing - particularly executive resume writing - to leave off interests and activities unrelated to the person's profession. The thinking was that it's not a good idea to distract readers from the person's consistent career brand as described in the resume. Those extras have been considered simply irrelevant.

But I was struck to read about some research that has implications for what a job seeker should do about this matter. Craig Lambert, in a Harvard Magazine article about Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy, discusses the finding that competence in one area generalizes to overall competence. So, if a job seeker lists "sailing" as an interest, the reader will be more likely to think that that person is competent in his/her job.

My new advice? It doesn't matter how removed the interest or activity is from your profession, include it if it demonstrates an ability or skill that you have. Cello playing for a CFO. Competitive swimming for an IT manager. Sled dog racing for a construction manager.

You get the idea. You'll be considered better at what you do for a living than a comparable competitor with no interests / activities.

 

more

Topics: executive resumes, executive resume writing, executive resume, career management, Get a Job, careers in retirement, resume writing

What's new in high tech resumes, executive resumes, cover letters, job search, and personal branding for executives in technology.

Subscribe to Email Updates

New Call-to-Action

Posts by Topic

see all

About the Author

Jean-headshot-10-2014-1