Over the past 20 years, I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes, and despite the vast amount of information available on how to write one, only a shockingly small amount of people do it well.
The most impressive resumes concisely and compellingly illustrate one major message: “This is how I made things better for the companies I worked for.” But the one section that gets in the way of this objective is ... well, the “objective” -those few words up at the very top, meant to capture the entirety of a candidate’s career ambitions. Instead, they don’t really say anything at all.
It’s highly outdated and unnecessary. And yet, I still get so many resumes that have one. While it might sound harsh, 90% of the time, I refuse to read through resumes that include an objective.
If you’re a job seeker with only few years of experience, a “headline” is a quick way to make an impact. The headline appears below your name, address and other contact information. Here are a few great examples:
Marketing associate with experience running online and social media campaigns
Communications manager for fast-growing Fortune 500 company
Biochemical engineer with nanotechnology expertise
For mid-level professionals with several years of experience, valuable technical skills and expertise that directly relates to the contribution they will make to their next employer, a “summary” will suffice.
A solid summary might look something like this: “Financial executive with extensive experience building and leading teams. Areas of expertise include: Strategic planning, business process reengineering, SEC reporting and governance...”
Hiring managers hardly spend any time looking at your resume (their first glance lasts about six seconds) if it doesn’t immediately deliver what they’re looking for. So it’s important to use what little amount of space you have wisely.