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EP 1209 I discuss why putting one one your resume is a mistake.

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I want to talk with you today about a stupid resume mistakes way too many people make. That's the notion of putting an objective in your resume. Objectives were created back in the Stone Ages of submitting resumes, pre-computer, where people just mailed resumes into apply for positions. So, there was a time disconnect between the time that the ad was written until the time that someone received the resume because computers didn’t exist. Faxes didn't exist. You mailed the resume.

If you were a recruiter, sometimes you had a messenger deliver it but massaging data in a resume was hard. You had to re-type it constantly. Many offices didn't have copy machines; they used mimeograph to do it. I know it's crazy how it was like back then. Oh-yeah, they used carbon paper if you were an individual mailing out a resume and the carbon paper would get on people's hands. It was awful! So, objectives became a way of communicating the nature the job you were looking for and they were actually paid attention to.

Today, objectives are looked at as ways that people use to disqualify themselves from consideration. So, for example, I see objectives that have a disconnect between what someone says they're looking for and what we job is; thus, it doesn't mesh. Why would I call this person who's telling me in their resume that they want to do such and such and have responsibility for such and such and my client won’t give it to them.

I try to be clear my advertising, or you in the referral that I gave to someone or in the information I gave to someone so that they can refer someone to me and I get this resume that has a disconnect.

Get rid of the objectives! All they do is disqualify you.

Instead of having an objective on the resume, use your actual body of the email to communicate the things that you want to communicate. Frankly, what you consider an objective, what most people consider objectives are irrelevant. No one cares what you're looking for. I hate to be that blunt but employers, for most of you, don't care what you or looking for; they care what they are looking for.

You can find out at the first interview if there is a disconnect between your objectives and theirs but don’t be proactive about it you may write it in a way or change your mind after the time of submission and have talk yourself out of an opportunity.

Instead, like I said, use the body of your email to communicate what you are looking for.

“I am forwarding my resume to you because I understand looking for such and such.” Then, you go into the second paragraph that outlines your relevant experience. Maybe, you set up the equivalent of an Excel spreadsheet where, in one column, you have the skill sought and where, in the second column, you have your experience; in the third column numbers of years of experience with it and how recently you have done it.

Then, you conclude by saying, “I am looking for a role where I (if you really want you communicate it). Frankly, I don’t think you need to. The first thing that an employer’s looking for is whether they can figure out quickly and easily whether you or qualified. Your cover email is going to do that. Your resume has to support that information and then your LinkedIn profile as to do it, as well.

So, get rid of the objectives. There is nothing good that comes out of it. No one will ever read your objective and say, “Huh! That’s interesting. We can give this to that guy. That’s fabulous! I think this woman would be great because . . . “

No one ever does that. Statistically, 95 times out of 100, they are going, “Jerk,” when they read the objectives. So, just don’t use one.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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