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Career Objectives in a Resume: Yes or No?

11 Jan, 2015

Career Objectives in a Resume: Yes or No?

Arguments abound, even among career professionals, about whether or not you should put an objective on your resume.

Here are some PROS and CONS to consider about career objectives:

1. You need to know where you want the resume to take you, and you need to make sure it’s crystal-clear to the prospective employer. I can’t emphasize this enough: Employers will not play a guessing-game to figure out what kind of work you want to do!

2. If you’re a management-level person, I recommend using a profile section, which has a heading such as “SALES EXECUTIVE,” followed by a concise summary of your strongest, most relevant points-generally, not more than five or six lines.

3. Using the cover letter to communicate your desired position instead of making it easily visible in the resume could be a mistake. Your cover letter may not always stay with the resume it gets separated somehow, the person reading the resume won’t see it and will have no clue what position you’re aiming for.

4. You should nearly always have one career direction per resume. An objective such as “Seeking a career in purchasing, sales or customer service” will not impress employers. It gives them the impression that you can’t make up your mind what you want. If you have talents and experience in more than one area and are willing to work in all of them, prepare a separate version of the resume for each area.

5. Make sure your objective, if you include one, says something specific about where you’re heading. “Seeking a challenging position with a growing company, offering opportunities for professional advancement” tells more about what you want the company to give you than about what you’re offering to do for the company; it’s too generic and you-centered.

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