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Copyright 2000 by Rita Fisher, CPRW/Career Change Resumes

  Whatís wrong with an objective on a resume? Plenty. But letís begin with resume writing in general.

If you havenít in the past, itís now time to consider selling yourself. Through your resume, I mean.

From now on, think about your resume as your personal marketing document. Or an ad designed to SELL YOURSELF. Because thatís exactly what a resume is Ė its goal is to sell your way in the door and land you an interview.

There is now question about it - you have to create a compelling ad copy if you want your resume to stand out from the hundreds of other resumes HR personnel receive each day. Do you think an objective can help you accomplish that? Think again. As your own advertising agent, you have to use the most persuasive strategies in your resume preparation and that means you have to kill your objective. Itís useless and outdated.

Donít use an objective. Use a power statement.

Let me illustrate what I mean by giving examples of both. Here is a typical objective, one that HR personnel see on resumes all the time:

ďCustomer Service Representative position allowing me to fully utilize my skills and attributes and providing professional advancement opportunities.Ē

What did this objective tell me?  The above objective communicated to me basically nothing but for the sake of this case-study here are a few points:

A, The person is looking for a Customer Service position. (No problem with that.) 

B, The individualís priority seems to be his/her professional advancement within the organization. (Oops, thatís not the way to treat a potential employer. Thatís not what the company wants to hear. They want to hear how you will BENEFIT THEM, not yourself.)

C, The candidate didnít specify skills and attributes thus didnít give any glimpse into what he/she can do for the company. (Not good because employers want specifics.)

D, Self-oriented instead of employer oriented. (Not good at all.)

Letís translate the same objective into a power statement.

ďAward-winning, highly accomplished and motivated Customer Service professional with proven track record of rapport-building, resourceful problem-solving and communication skills.Ē  

What did this tell me? The power statement communicated to me that:

A, The person is a competent, distinguished (award-winning) Customer Service professional who has excellent working knowledge of his/her trade. (Good.)

B, Has a proven track record of relevant attributes. (Good.)

C, The reader can get a glimpse into how the person could benefit the company as a result of mentioning specific skills and abilities that are necessary to do that particular job well. (Very good.)

D, The power statement is employer-oriented, not focused on self.

Remember, when employers look at your resume, they read it with one thought and one thought only in mind: What Can This Person Do for Us? If you include a self-oriented objective, instead of an employer-oriented power statement at the top of your resume, you will turn off the potential employer before they even get a chance to read your entire resume.

The main difference between the objective and the power statement is that while the objective is self-serving and self-focused, the power statement is employee-oriented and results-focused. Employers only care about results Ė the results you will produce for them on the job whether it will be saving money, solving a problem or increasing profitability. If you can hint within your power statement in a short and compelling way how you will benefit the company, you are on your way to your interview. Go get them!

Rita Fisher is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, a Career Expert and owner of Career Change Resumes, a professional resume writing and career marketing firm that guarantees interviews or will rewrite for free. Rita provides expert help on presenting your background for the desired career change. FREE e-zine and FREE power words.

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