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!
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