Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Objectives on Resumes Are So Last Century - Really??

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

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Oct 18, 2013 4:07:40 PM


People have been telling you for years now to drop the objective on your resume - it automatically dates you and makes your resume look old-fashioned. Well, that is undeniably true, if we're talking about the typical objective statement that reads like:

Objective: Seeking a position as a Project Manager where I can contribute to the company and continue to upgrade my skills.

Ditch it, if you've got one like it. But let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. True, the old Objective statement was usually self-serving and even when it was about making contributions, it was usually boiler plate and boring.

But it did serve one very useful purpose - one that most resumes that get sent to me fail to achieve. It told the reader what job you are going after. Why is this important? Because the recruiter or hiring manager with just 6 seconds to spend reviewing a resume needs to know whether what you want is a match with what's on offer. If it's not, they'll pass on the resume. If it is, they'll take the full 6 seconds :)

Often it is unclear whether the candidate is seeking a promotion - a title that is one level higher than the job title they currently hold - or looking for another one of the same. You can't afford not to tell the reader this right at the top of the resume.

Or, it's hard to tell what industry the candidate is looking for. Again, if you don't tell them, they won't know and take action on your resume. Your industry is also a key piece of your brand. If you promote the industry you've been in for awhile at the top of the resume, then you give the impression of having a determined focus and exertise in a sector - something that is REALLY important to recruiters.

My recommendation? DO NOT use the word "Objective." Do not under any circumstances say something self-serving about your goal and how the job will benefit you in some way.

But DO give yourself a headline, a title. By boldly stating it and your industry at the top of your resume, the recruiter already can breathe a sigh of relief that they don't have to struggle to find out if you're any kind of fit for their open position.

Feel free to give even more enticing and valuable information in your heading as well. This is where you can elaborate on your niche expertise and your brand in a quick snapshot - so helpful to the reader, which means it's helpful to YOU. It might look something like this:


Senior IT Director
Targeting: Vice President or Senior Director
Global Operations | IT Service Delivery | P&L | Global Supply Chain | Fortune 500
Transformational leader with ability to optimize business & IT performance in support of global expansion, enhanced efficiencies, growth to $250M & cost reduction to $60M+


The recruiter hiring for either a VP or Senior Director level in IT will be saying to herself: "OK, this guy is definitly someone I want to find out more about." And isn't that exactly what you want to have happen?

So let's bring the objective statement into the modern world. Make it about your brand and let it help the reader to decide whether to read further!


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Tyrone Norwood