Career Objective: The soul of your CV

Resumes and CVs are the first point of contact between an employer and a prospective employee in our contemporary labour market. With the labour industries being saturated and graduates being churned out en-masse on monthly basis, it has become pertinent for fresh graduates and experienced applicants to review their resumes and CVs particularly the first section which tends to present your employer/interviewer with your career statement and objective.

Start your rethinking of resume from the very beginning. It is customary to begin a resume with a statement of your employment “objective”, like this:

OBJECTIVE: Quality Assurance Engineer

This tells the prospective employer very little of interest (to her) or value (to her). It does not convey the obvious: that the applicant wants the job. But it also diminishes opportunities by stating the objective so narrowly. Unless this particular target employer has an opening with this precise title, it is not likely that she will pursue the applicant’s candidacy. (Sadly, she may have an opening for the equivalent of a quality assurance engineer, but her firm may identify this position with different title;therefore, she will take a pass on this applicant.)

Some applicants move in the opposite direction, composing a statement of objective that is too broad and self-centered:

OBJECTIVE: Finding an opportunity to utilize my skills, education, and energy in a working environment that offers a good, solid career path.

Well, that’s very nice – for the applicant. But what’s in it for the prospective employer? Not only is this objective statement too broad – who doesn’t want “a good, solid career path”? – it is so narrowly focused on the self that it seems to offer a potential employer nothing.

Deliver your statement of objective – by definition, a statement about yourself – in a way that addresses the needs of the employer. Do this, and the target employer will behold a person whose leading objective seems to mesh almost miraculously with what she wants from the person who fills the position.

An effective career statement of your objective motivates the target employer to read beyond the first line of your resume. Consider:

OBJECTIVE: To obtain a position where my years of material, production, and inventory control experience will be a company asset.

Not bad. This certainly says something about what the applicant wants as well as what he has to offer. We can make it even better by transforming the applicant’s experience into qualifications:

OBJECTIVE: To obtain a position where my years of creating innovative and cost – effective systems formaterial, production, and inventory control will be a company asset.

The phrase: creating innovative and cost –
effective systems” transforms passive experience into active qualifications.
Pay particular attention to the use of verb from “creating.” Verbs and verb
forms tend to energize any description of qualifications by suggesting action and movement. Nevertheless, we can still do better:

OBJECTIVE: To be a member of a team that needs my decade/years of experience creating innovative and cost – effective systems for material, production and inventory control.

The words team and needs powerfully
set this CV/resume apart from the others the target employer may receive. Employers are accustomed to seeing such terms as firm, employer, corporation and organization. Emphasizing the word team will catch her/him off – guard, making her/him stop to think and propelling her through the rest of the CV.

Moreover, the word needs shift the focus from you to the employer. After
encountering this word, the target employer finds that she is no longer reading a job application, but a possible answer to what her team needs.

With your statement of objective capturing your prospective employer’s interest, it is important for you not to sell yourself short when invited for an interview. 


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