So You’re Writing a Résumé Objective…

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There are a lot of reasons to not include an “objective statement” on your résumé. For starters, your cover letter offers more space for describing what you can accomplish for a prospective employer, and what you want out of your career. With résumés, space is also at a premium: the inch you save by not including your broad objectives is an inch you can use to detail your accomplishments and skills.

But lets say you want to include an objective statement. Maybe an application requires one, or an employer explicitly wants you to list it as part of your résumé. Here are some tips for crafting one that’ll show you in your best light:

Show What You Can Do

When writing objective statements, many applicants make a big mistake: they describe what they want the prospective employer to do for them, and where they want to take their career, rather than detailing what their skills can do for the employer.

Instead of writing an objective statement such as, “Obtain a challenging project-manager position so I can increase my communications and interdisciplinary skills,” consider something along the lines of, “Obtain a challenging project-manager position so I can help a company streamline its production process and time-to-market.”

Think of the objective statement as a sales pitch for your skills.

Include Details

It’s tempting to seed your objective statement with lots of buzzwords: “team player,” “innovative,” “problem solver,” and so on. There’s just one little problem: those are buzzwords, the literary equivalent of empty calories. Instead of going that route, take a little time to describe your accomplishments and qualifications. “Project manager on three award-winning iOS apps who wants to build the next generation of bots” will do a lot more to impress a recruiter or employer than simply describing yourself as “an innovative team player who solves problems.”

Keep It Short

As with the rest of your application materials, brevity is best. After completing a first draft of your objective statement, go through and eliminate any and all adverbs, adjectives, buzzwords, and anything else that’s larding up your narrative. Try to condense things to a sentence or two; you’re not writing “War and Peace” here.

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