This morning on NBsC’ Today show an unknown alleged job hunting expert, interviewed by Ann Curry, expounded that “you shouldn’t put a job objective on your resume because you want to be ‘open.’” That is the worst misinformation I’ve seen on television since Newt tried to rewrite his resume on the fly, no pun intended. If you follow that advice you are lengthening your job hunt by months, if not dooming it completely.
Can we look at this from the potential employer’s point of view? Resumes without job objectives invite the employer to intuit what this individual might want to do, be qualified to do, or what would cause him/her to run screaming from the job in days or weeks. It also shouts, “I am completely uncommitted. Tell me what’s best to like and I’ll like it!” Such people need therapy, not jobs.
Being “willing to consider anything to get your foot in the door” will have the opposite effect. Why should I take a chance that you’ll do well and like the job I need to fill when you haven’t named the job you want? HR types don’t think that way. They love specificity. “I want to be an analyst and here’s why I am good at it or would be good at it.” That’s why there is experience and education below the job objective.
Anyone who’s worked in recruiting more than a month has met dozens, if not hundreds, of job hunters who want the HR person to read his/her resume and tell the job hunter what he or she should do for a living. Why? Isn’t it the individual’s responsibility to declare what he/she wants to do? Yes, it is, even though many are trying to duck that responsibility.
The rule: You are not ready to job hunt until you can articulate in 18 words or fewer what role you want to play. It’s got to have a name. That’s why saying, “I’m interested in public relations or advertising” means you haven’t thought through what skills you want to use and why. You literally couldn’t be equally interested in both public relations and advertising because they use very different skill sets. My favorite non-committal remark is, “I think I’d be really good at marketing.” Just try to get a real marketing job from that platform.
Even if you are fatally uncommitted, do two different job objectives and send them to different audiences. If all you can talk about is how much you want to work for the organization, you’re not selling your skills, you’re begging. How unattractive is that?
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