Are You Using a Jurassic Era Section on Your Executive Resume?
I still receive inquiries from executives regarding whether to include/not include an objective on their resumes. When I ran across a colleague’s post today about the use of an “Objective” section in today’s resumes, I just had to put my two cents in on this.
Those using best practices in resume development have long since abandoned the use of an “Objective” on the resume, especially for candidates at executive level. Rather than hearing you wax eloquent about what you want or what your career goals are, employers, hiring executives, and recruiters want to know what’s in it for THEM to bring you on board. Self-serving objectives about your wish to “advance,” “increase salary,” “relocate near family,” or “fulfill my career dreams” are particularly off-putting, and in addition to wasting valuable executive resume real estate can make you seem older than you are.
The Profile or Summary section has replaced the Objective, and serves to vividly demonstrate to the reader the unique value you bring to the table, value that, by the way, may be applied in a variety of roles, not just a particular job title you might have specified in an “Objective.” You can also let the reader know how specifically you would like to apply your skill set by creating a headline over your summary/profile section such as “Chief Executive Officer,” “Global Marketing Executive,” Vice President/Director of Technology,” etc.
The only situation in which inclusion of an Objective may be appropriate is when the you are looking to make a major career change and your work experience really does not align well at all with your targeted position. In this case, a well-worded, employer-benefit-focused objective will show the reader the transferable skills you possess that you intend to leverage in your new role, while getting the actual words relevant to your new job target in the resume for both keyword optimization and reader understanding.
So, let me make it official: You are hereby authorized to DITCH the objective section on your executive resume!