Is Your Resume Outdated? Promoting YOU via a Powerful and Polished Resume

Does your current resume have an objective listed at the top?  You know, something along the lines of:

Objective:  To acquire a challenging position with an organization providing opportunities for skill set enhancement and career advancement, with the ability to utilize strengths to support company growth

Was the above objective eerily similar to your resume objective?  No I am not psychic. So how did I know your objective was pretty much identical to the one above?  Because I have viewed hundreds of resumes over the past 15 years, working as a learning and development professional and having taught Resume Writing as part of that corporate job.  That means I have not only viewed hundreds of resumes with objectives, more importantly, the majority of these resumes were out-of-date in style.

Would it surprise you to know that an objective on a resume is not only outdated, it says nothing about you personally and what you can provide your future employer, thus inadvertently making you blend in with the masses?

You should know two key things about “Objectives” on your resume:

  1.  As I candidly tell participants in my Promoting U! workshops and in private coaching sessions, “Your objective is to get a damn job!”  That’s it.  You have the same exact objective as all the other hundreds or even thousands of candidates vying for the same job, so why go to the trouble of stating the obvious?  Remove the “Objective” from the top of your resume.  But, what do you write instead?
  2.  Change “Objective” to “Executive Summary,”or “Professional Qualifications,” or a like-heading, and keep it under five short lines.

Consider what this job hunter stated in her summary:

Agile and responsive office administrator with experience in construction management, marketing and healthcare organizations. Known as “go-to” person for resolving both immediate crises and longer-term challenges. Provides remarkable customer service to internal and external clients. Demonstrates positive, can-do attitude on a daily basis.

Here is a concise, two-sentence summary for an entrepreneur handing a resume to a potential client:

A WBENC certified business owner and licensed training professional with over 20 years-experience. Expert in creating and delivering energetic, interactive business communication programs and equipping thousands of clients to effectively communicate with internal and external clients confidently on-the-job.

As you can see in the two examples above, the “Summary” section or heading gives the recruiter and the hiring manager a snapshot of what makes you, uniquely you, and what differentiates you from among other candidates.

Remember, your objective is to not just “get a job,” it is to also promote yourself in a way that makes you stand out among the competition with a professional, powerful and polished resume.

What “Summary” section tips do you have to share with our readers?

Up next in our Promoting U Blog series:  Promoting YOU:  Avoiding a Weak Resume by Knowing Your Own Strengths


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