There’s a reason why many people always feel like their objective statement is the weakest part of their resume —because it’s all about you, when it should be about the organization you’re applying at. Companies care only about what you can do for their wants and needs.
You probably already know that your resume is supposed to be about what you can do for the organization, so why use an objective statement anymore? Instead, create a resume profile statement.
Your resume profile statement should be the first thing on your resume (in place of the objective statement) and can be in paragraph-style or bullets. Don’t restate anything that can be found somewhere else in your resume or cover letter. Instead, use this space as an opportunity to tell the organization the value you’ll bring if hired.
A profile statement clearly and concisely conveys your qualifications, experience and education in terms of the company’s needs and values. It’s a great way to tell a hiring manager why you’re perfect for the position. Many of the company’s desires can be found in the job description itself—for example, communication skills, fluency in a foreign language, certain personal attributes, etc. You’ll also need to do your research and figure out what the company is looking for in a candidate beyond the job description.
Check out this example:
Job description: Ideal candidate would have internship experience, knowledge of social media, strong written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to meet deadlines. The ad also says the ideal candidate would be fluent in Spanish, although this is not required. You look beyond the ad to find out the organization works closely with community service-driven nonprofits.
Your resume profile statement might look like this: Organized, deadline-oriented professional with more than two years public relations and social media experience. Strong written and verbal communication skills in both English and Spanish. Spent the last three summers volunteering with a local nonprofit to enrich the lives of those within the community.
The great thing about creating a resume profile statement is that it’s useful in other situations as well—your LinkedIn profile, for example. Using your resume profile statement on LinkedIn should obviously be a bit more general and less targeted, but it’s a great exercise either way.
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com. Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhuhman.