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“How should I begin my résumé?” I’m often asked this by clients. Many of us were taught to begin our résumés with an objective—a sentence stating our professional goals.
For instance, Seeking a customer service position to use my skills in a dynamic and fast-growing company.
Or, perhaps a more personalized version: I desire to use my customer service skills and excellent time management abilities to serve visitors and staff at XYZ company.
At one time, this practice was common on résumés, but the job market has changed. Employers no longer want to see your objective. They know your goal is to work for them.
The problem with an objective is that it tends to state what you want from the employer, rather than the value you bring to them. As you write your résumé, remember that every aspect should communicate the unique abilities you will bring to the position you seek.
In today’s job market, what you need most is a résumé that sets you apart from the crowd of other applicants. What makes you different? Why are you the best person for the job? To communicate this, replace the objective section of your résumé with a branding statement.
I typically label this as a “professional profile,” and I include a sentence or two about my experience, skills and personality. Think about your previous experience and what you can bring to the company.
Here are a few examples:
Compassionate customer service professional with excellent communication and problem-solving abilities. Skilled in time management, motivating teams and leading by example.
Dedicated CPA with 10 years of experience providing statistical analyses, budgeting, financial reporting, and auditing procedures for companies of all sizes. Expert in establishing accounting systems using cost-reduction, automation and tax strategies.
Results-oriented sales manager with demonstrated ability to build relationships, attract new customers, and grow revenue. Special expertise in strategic planning, resource allocation, and marketing.
Take time to think through your branding statement before you begin to write. Think about which words best describe you. What are your best skills? You may want to write the rest of your résumé first, and fill in the professional profile last once you have a sense of your best skills or areas of expertise.
Other than your name, your professional profile is the first thing employers will read on your resume. Carefully craft this branding statement so you hook their interest right away!