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Should I have an objective on my résumé?

Career Exploration The Hiring Process

This is one of those questions résumé experts can argue about for days. The Career Coach says “yes, you should.” However, you want an objective that will serve you well. There are two ways to write objectives. The more common way is the “blue sky objective” and goes something like this: “I want a job where I can learn and grow and use all my skills and make lots of money and be happy all the day long.” Of course you want a job like that. Who doesn’t? But it doesn’t tell the employer anything about what you can do for him, or even what job you’re applying for. A better way is to use the job title you’re applying for, e.g., “Objective: Lion Tamer.” It’s short, it’s sweet, and it tells the employer which job you want. There may be several available with the company you’ve targeted, and the employer wants to know right away which one interests you. He isn’t going to spend any time trying to figure out how to fit you in. He’s going to go straight to the next résumé; there are plenty more, in this down economy, for him to choose from. You might also want to have a summary section right after your objective. In this part, you list your most important accomplishments (by the employer’s ideas, which may be different from yours.) It can be a bulleted list or a brief paragraph (three to five lines) of your best stuff. If at all possible, link your strengths to the needs you know the employer has.