Writing Resume Objectives
Writing resume objectives or career objectives requires clear understanding of the skills and the experience you can offer and how these match the position requirements and expectations of the potential employer.
A good way to make sure you have the skills and experience required to be competitive for the position is to read the advertised position carefully and underline the most important requirements of the position. In this way you will know exactly what it requires to be competitive for this position so you do not waste your time applying for positions which require skills or experience different to yours. To demonstrate what I mean, I have included an example below which shows the important key words that should be included when writing resume objectives.
The example below is taken from an actual position advertisement within a large government department.
“The successful applicant requires well developed oral and written communication skills, including interpersonal and negotiation skills of a high standard. They must be able to manage a computerised appointments diary, organise meetings, arrange domestic and overseas travel and prepare correspondence and minutes “
To assist you in identifying the most important parts of the above position, I will break down the first line. This way when you find a job that you are interested in, you will be able to read and understand clearly what the position requires and decide whether you have the experience and abilities to compete for the position. So consider your abilities honestly before commencing writing resume objectives, otherwise you are wasting valuable time that you could be using to apply for positions that you are more suited for.
“The successful applicant requires well developed oral and written communication”
The well developed oral part of communication from the above line means that to be considered for the position, the job seeker needs to be able to prove through examples that an important part of their current or previous position required speaking on a regular basis. This could be in any position or industry and could involve providing regular customer service, presentations, communicating in meetings, over the phone to people etc. The well developed part means you need to demonstrate you were good at doing this. So make sure to remember this when writing resume objectives.
Well developed written communication means you need to show writing is an important part of your job. This could include writing reports, business proposals, policies, marketing materials or drafting correspondence for your boss etc.
Interpersonal and negotiation skills of a high standard – Interpersonal means dealing with people on a regular basis through meetings, work, customers etc, but also means you know how to work and get along with others in a team environment who have different opinions and work styles without conflicting with them.
Negotiation skills are about using communication skills to persuade or encourage others to take certain actions eg purchase items. Therefore it is crucial that written and oral communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills are included and demonstrated at high level when writing resume objectives.
Matching your own skills and experience to the requirements of a position you are interested in can sometimes be quite stressful. This is especially true if you are not sure whether you have certain skills or have enough experience to apply for a certain position.
These feelings you may have, are very common among the hundreds of people I have worked with over the years and quite often occur because we are all so busy “doing our job”. You and others just don’t realise all the things you contribute to in the workplace because you are too close to it. A useful strategy is to provide a work example and ask a friend honestly whether they believe you have skills and abilities required before writing resume objectives for your desired position.