Some time ago, it was customary for your resume to have a line towards the top that read something like: “OBJECTIVE: To obtain a position in customer service in which I can utilize my skills at an organization that facilitates innovation and growth.” which can be referred to as an “objective statement.”
Times have changed since then, and undoubtedly, so has the criteria that formulates an effective resume.
The 21st century resume has to survive the “6-8 second rule”. In just a short time, the reader needs to see that you will add value to the organization. If nothing jumps out at them, it’s likely to be lost in the black hole of resumes. Starting with a generic objective doesn’t excite anyone, but a compelling headline creates a hook that draws the reader in.
A good headline emphasizes what the applicant has to offer by specifying a main core competency relevant to the intended position.
Here are a few examples of powerful headlines:
- Award-winning sales professional recognized as a top revenue producer
- Diligent administrative assistant offering more than 5 years of providing daily operational support in a corporate environment
- Recent MBA graduate with extensive background in sales and marketing
- Talented customer service professional with demonstrated ability to build strong client relationships
Now that you have their attention, follow up with a strong set of accomplishments in a summary section that demonstrates why you are that super-star worker. Make sure this section is results based and highlight contributions you have made to past employers.
Not all job seekers use headlines, many people are still boring employers with cliché objectives and wondering why they aren’t getting any calls. Objective statements have not been completely wiped out, but they are dying a slow death.