Remove The Objective

  • There, I said it. Whew. I feel better now. There are some things that happen every day in this world that make absolutely no sense, but they keep happening anyway, just because that’s the way it’s always been. This phenomenon explains, among other things, why every Yanni CD goes platinum, why Pizza Hut keeps stuffing different crap inside their pizza crust, why all 26 Wayans brothers continue to get movie roles, and so on. Go ahead and add the resume objective to this list, because if you’ve never realized how utterly stupid a concept this is, then I’m about to tell you. I am a psychic. Did you know that? I’ll bet you didn’t. But I’ll prove it, because even though I’ve never met you or talked to you, I can predict with absolute certainty what your objective is in sending your resume. I promise, I can do it. You ready? Here it comes…TO GET THE JOB.Right? That’s why you’re sending the resume wherever you’re sending it – because you want the job – a job, the job, some job, any job. Now, I have a confession to make: I’m not a psychic, just a smartass. The point here is: the objective is always the same, and everyone knows it: You want the job. And that’s good, because I, the employer, am the one who posted the job. I did that because I wanted to get resumes from people like you who want the job that I posted. That whole process pretty well goes without saying, right?Then WHY do people waste 20 percent of the space on their one sacred resume page explaining, basically, why they’re sending me this resume? I know, I know: the answer is, because somebody, somewhere along the line told you that’s what you’re supposed to do. Well, I’m telling you it’s not. Go directly to your resume right now, highlight the objective, and cut it out. Now. Seriously, right now, go do it.You may be afraid to do this. You may think, “but EVERY sample resume I see has an objective, and EVERY book includes an objective section!” Be that as it may, please, don’t be afraid. No employer in the history of mankind has ever picked up a resume and said, “Wow, this is a fine resume, except…there’s no objective! Maybe they don’t really want the job and just sent me the resume to confuse me. Someone’s playing a trick on me, because without an objective, I just can’t be certain of why this resume ever landed on my desk!” It does seem ridiculous when you think of it like that, doesn’t it?If you can’t bring yourself to remove the objective from you resume – well, I tried. But if you’re going to include it anyway, let me give you a piece of advice (sigh, not that you’ll probably listen, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt). Be honest. Say you want the Widget-Maker job that you saw in the paper. Don’t attempt one of those fantastically awful snowjobs that go something like this:

    ”I am seeking a challenging, growth-oriented position where I can develop my communication and organizational abilities and utilize my…”

    Ugh. I’ve read passages in O.J. Simpson’s book that are more honest than resume objective statements like these. Stop already! That’s not what you’re “seeking” – you’re seeking the job I have. Since you sent me your resume, I can only assume you want it, regardless of whether it’s challenging or stimulating or gives you the goosebumps. And don’t forget, this can backfire on you, too. Maybe I’m ready to offer you a $50,000 job that doesn’t have much growth potential. Does that mean I shouldn’t call you and give you the job? (Professional Hint: No! Take the job, take the money, learn as much as you can, then jump ship to a better company later.)

2 thoughts on “Remove The Objective”

  1. Agree totally! Of COURSE I want a great job that utilizes my skills and leads to a growth opportunity. I mean, duh. =D Good to know employers hate it as much as I do.

  2. Disagree totally: you should not write bullshit-loaded “objective” paragraph but I think it’s a very good idea to describe in a few (3-7) words what you are after. Do you want to be a software engineer? A sysadmin? A secretary?

    Consider a few factors:

    1. your resume will likely be separated from a cover letter (so don’t count on cover letters)

    2. your resume will likely be read first by HR person/recruiter… If you don’t have “Objective” on your resume then that reader is likely to be the last one: he is not going to waste his time on trying to determine what you are after..

    3. even when your resume ends up on the hiring manager’s table, he still may have different positions open and your experience/qualification may not be a totally trivial match to a specific role… Do you think he will call you to clarify? Or will he simply ignore your resume?

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