How to Write an “Objective” that Gets a Client Interviews

The “Objective” you find on the top of an ordinary resume is likely to be uninspired. And it’s likely to do more damage than good. Here’s what I mean:

Picture an HR Director who’s looking to fill a management position in the IT department of her firm. She places an ad online and in the town newspaper … and receives more than 300 resumes from interested candidates. Wow! Great response!

But she has less than two weeks to fill this position. How is she going to decide which of the candidates she will call for a pre-interview conversation?

She’ll start by reading resumes from the top down. And that means she’ll start with the “Objective.” She picks up one resume, and reads:

“Seeking a position in a strong organization with room to grow.”

Boring. Vague. Not targeted for the position. This could be a resume for anything from customer service to corporate bookkeeping.

Most likely, it will not get a second glance.

(You do NOT want this to happen to a resume you write.)

Now, consider this one:

“Seeking a position using my extensive knowledge and successful experience within the Technology Industry.”

Well, this is a little better. And if the HR Director gets only a few resumes, it might get your client a call. But remember, This HR Director got more than 300 resumes. She is going to call maybe 10% of them to “screen” for an in-person interview.

What’s going to make her pick up the phone?

Here is an “Objective” that makes the cut:

“Seeking a management position in Information Technology, utilizing progressive experience developing business-technology solutions to maximize profitability and efficiency.”

That’s much stronger – targeted specifically to the position and stated in a single sentence. It lets the HR Director know that the candidate is:

  1. Able to develop business technology
  2. Solution-oriented
  3. A producer of both profitability and efficiency (two very strong “buzzwords” – and music to an HR Director’s ears).

Kicking off a resume with an “Objective” like this allows employers to spend their valuable time only on people who look like they really want the job … and have the relevant training and experience.

If you don’t include a tailored and specific summary like this for your clients, their resumes may never be read at all.

But keep it short. Remember, the employer must be able to read it in a split second. A resume with a long, rambling “Objective” may get tossed.

As a rule of thumb, avoid generalizations and cliches. For example, instead of “communications skills,” say “technical writing” or “telemarketing” skills. Instead of “creative,” say “graphic designer” or “photographer.”

Bottom line:

Don’t assume that the employer will look through all of your client’s employment history to see if he or she is a candidate worth taking the time to interview.

Let your client’s prospective employer know – right up front and without a doubt – what he or she will bring to the organization …

Focus on one specific objective – and back it up immediately with a “teaser” of your client’s specific, measurable accomplishments.

I’ll show you exactly how to do it in our next e-letter. Getting a handle on this concept will put you way ahead of your competition – and increase the number of people clamoring for your services.

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Published: February 7, 2006

2 Responses to “How to Write an “Objective” that Gets a Client Interviews”

  1. Great information! Very useful for someone considering starting a resume writing business, and also for those budding copywriters who need to create their own resume for submission to score potential job interviews for positions advertised on the Direct Response Jobs board.

    Thank you AWAI for including this helpful article!

    June FrostMay 5, 2017 at 2:03 am

  2. My biggest stumbling bock in writing a resume has been writing an objective. I can see from Julien Sharp's article how important it is to be specific about the particular position you're responding to. Be short, sweet and to the point in your objective. Her article is very very helpful, short and to the point!

    the writers blockJune 13, 2019 at 4:59 pm

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