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Résumé Writing Roadblocks

Providing Clear Direction Regarding Job Targets

Job Seeker's Story

Jeremy did not want to limit his job options, so he did not include an objective at the beginning of his résumé. Therefore, he started his résumé with his Education section followed by his Employment History section.

Stacey wanted to make sure she would be happy with the environment and have opportunities for growth so she wrote:

Objective: To pursue a position in an organization that embraces teamwork and provides opportunities for growth and advancement based on job performance.

Anthony wanted to show how clever he was so he wrote an objective sure to get attention:

Objective: To attain the apex of professionalism in low cost mkg, well-disciplined processes in a dynamic and avant grade company, where acquired skills and exp are utilized toward diverse job responsibilities, continued growth and advancement.”

Billie had a number of interests so she wrote an objective that said:

Objective: I am seeking an opportunity that can take advantage of my experience for pharmaceutical or technical sales or my new degree for mechanical/electrical/chemical engineering. I am also open to administrative positions.

Job Seeker's Stumble

Yikes! All four of these candidates have ineffectively and, in some cases dangerously, used (or not used) the résumé section called the Objective. These mistakes include:

  • No Objective (Jeremy): By leaving off the objective, Jeremy forced the reviewer to look first at his education (first section on the résumé) and then to look at his employment history to get an idea of what type of position he was seeking. This wastes precious review time and may not even be what Jeremy wants to do at this point in his career. Unfortunately, Jeremy did not help the reviewer to see him any other way.
  • Selfish Focus (Stacey): By focusing on what she was seeking in the environment, Stacey forced the reviewer to waste time trying to figure out her job target. She demonstrated that she was, in fact, not targeting companies who were a good match, but just applying anywhere expecting the company to decide. She did not realize that employers expect you to know in advance and apply correctly, and not passively expect the employer to do it for you.
  • Abbreviations, Errors, and Elitism (Anthony): Anthony tried hard to be catchy, but he ended up ineffectual, incomplete, too long, and unclear.
  • Indecision and Lack of Targeting (Billie): By covering such diversity of roles ranging from medical sales to IT sales to three types of engineering (based on her degree), Billie pointed out that she did not know what she wanted to do. From an employment reviewer's perspective, Billie might be considered a poor candidate because she could be a flight risk to leave if one of the other opportunities were to arise.

Job Seeker's New Strategy

Regardless of the situation, the strategy is the same:

  • • Always include an objective (career focus).
  • • Target the type of position you are seeking, and make certain that you are only pursuing one type of position in a résumé.
  • • Avoid selfish, self-serving content in the objective.
  • • Strive for clear, direct content that is short and to the point. You will have the chance to share your strengths and skills in the Summary and Keyword sections below.
  • • Check carefully for typographical errors in spelling, grammar, and run-on sentences.

When creating an Objective you might use a Header or a traditional Objective. A Header consists of just the title of the type of position you are seeking. For example:


This will look best if it is centered, bolded, capitalized, and placed in a larger font size such as 14 or 15 point.

Alternatively, a more traditional Objective would look this way:

Objective: To pursue a position as a Director of Marketing.

You most likely will notice that these examples are very specific to one particular job title. Because you will want to personalize and target your résumé to each position you apply for, the objective should change (along with how the rest of the résumé content is focused) in order to help busy reviewers see a match with their open position in your résumé.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesJob Search, Job Interview Questions, & Job Interview TipsRésumé Writing Roadblocks - Be Selective And Careful With Your Résumé Content, Caution: Résumé Typos Ahead!, Oh, The Tangled Web We Weave…