Still, if you assembled 100 career experts in a room, 50 would likely say yes, you should list a career objective on your resume; the other half would probably say no. Those arguing against objectives say they are too limiting and usually poorly constructed. Those in favor say that employers want to be able to determine in just a few seconds what you want to do for the organization and what you’re good at. An objective can help meet that employer need.
One survey indicates that about 40 percent of employers want to see an objective on jobseekers’ resumes. That 40 percent figure should give the “objecti-phobe” pause; it’s a pretty convincing argument in favor of using an objective. If 40 percent of employers would be annoyed not to see an objective on your resume, using one may be the safest choice since those who don’t care to see an objective can simply disregard it. Bottom line? Whether or not to list an objective on your resume is a highly personal decision, but a decision in favor of the objective is worth considering because many employers like to see them.
To some employers, the lack of an objective translates into a jobseeker who doesn’t know what he or she wants. Some job-seekers think it’s a plus to appear open to a wide variety of positions, but the “I’ll do anything” attitude is usually a turn-off to employers; it projects an air of desperation. Hiring managers simply receive too many resumes and look at them far too quickly to be able to spend time trying to read the job-seeker’s mind and read between the lines to determine what kind of job you seek. They just don’t have the time to figure out where the job-seeker might fit into the organization.
If you really are open to a wide variety of positions, maybe the problem isn’t lack of focus on your resume but lack of career focus. Articulating your objective in writing on your resume prepares you to do so in interviews. You will sound much more bold and compelling when speaking to employers face-to-face if you are specific about what your career objective is. Including an objective is a good way to demonstrate self-knowledge – that you know what you want and what you can contribute.
Numerous employers say they rarely see a well-written objective, and there’s no doubt that many resume career objectives are poorly put together. To avoid limiting themselves, too many jobseekers write objectives that are woefully vague, thus defeating the purpose of presenting an objective.
A collection of key Web-based career and job-search network resources, tips, and how-to guides for job-seekers. Need help with learning about networking — or polishing your networking skills? What follows…