Resume Writing: Objective versus Career Summary

So we’re going to talk about objectives and
career summaries . They go up at the top; they are the prime real estate spot, and you
want to make sure you select the correct one. So here we have two resumes. One that has
the objective up top, and this is what we are used to seeing because we were just always
taught have an objective on the top of your resume. And then the other one has a career
summary. Now, the career summary is really cool because it immediately highlights you.
Yay! Right away at the top of your resume, you have some things hooking and grabbing
the reader in whereas an objective doesn’t really do that, but sometimes you need an
objective, and if you’re going to have one, you are going to want to make sure you have
a clear/specific one. SO let’s take a look at this example objective here. So here in
this employee’s resume, his objective says that he is seeking an entry-level position
at various hotels, and that he is willing to work in convention sales, public relations,
and promotion; he is willing to travel; and eventually, he wants the hotel management
position. So let’s go ahead and zoom in here, so you can see what I’m talking about. Ok,
so as you look at this objective, you’ll note that this objective is more specific than
ones we have seen before. He is stating exactly ok right now now, I’m looking for that entry
level position, here are all the areas of the job I’m willing to do and willing to work
with to eventually get to my end goal. This objective has a purpose, ok but often times,
the objectives don’t even have a purpose at all. We are just told to have one. For example,
with my resume, that was my objective. Honestly, that is what I wrote. I had written: obtain
a teaching position in English, Theatre, or Speech utilizing my strong skills to lead, communicate,
and teach a community of learners. What was the point of that? I can just imagine my prospective
employers reading my resume and going, “Hmm, really? She wants to be an English teacher.
Oh that is why she applied for our open English teaching position.” See what I am saying.
There was no point to that objective. That objective showed them nothing, told them nothing
about me and was a waste of space. So instead, I should have used a career summary which
looks like this. These career summaries can act like mini cover letters. Right up at the
top, you are hooking the reader in, you are getting their attention because right away,
you are stating reasons why you would be good for the job. Very top, I’ve listed that a
former principal named me the best English teacher she has ever seen, I talked about
how I affected student performance, I talked about how I motivated students…all right
there at the very top I have shown why I am a good teacher and why they should consider
me for the job. Right away! Right at the top! It’s like when you write an essay, and you
want to hook that reader in. So it’s better to use a career summary than an objective;
however, there are times when you need an objective. For example, you would need an
objective If you are posting your resume on a job forum or site like linkedin or other
sort of websites where you need to make it clear exactly what kind of position you are
looking for because they don’t know. Another reason is if you applied to a company advertising
several open positions, and you need to make it clear which one you are applying for. If
you have not necessarily applied for a specific job, but you are giving your resume to a company
who they don’t necessarily have current openings right now, but you want them to keep you in
mind, and you want to let them know exactly what it is you’re applying for. So if you
need to make it clear this is the position I am applying for, and these are my goals,
then go ahead you need an objective. But if you don’t need an objective, then don’t waste
the space. So if you don’t meet these three reasons, then you’re going to probably want
a write a career summary. I am now going to give you tips on how to write a good career
summary and how to write a good objective depending on what you need. So if you choose
to write an objective, you need to make sure you have a strong, well-written objective.
So let’s talk first about the function of the objective to make sure you meet all of
the requirements. Your objective tells a prospective employer the type of work you are interested
in. Since this doesn’t do a lot to market yourself, make sure this is short and concise,
so you leave more room on your resume to sell yourself.
Your objective should make it clear what type of job you hope to obtain. For example, what industry you want to
work in, the type of work you want to do, and the skills you want to utilize.
So now that we know the function, let’s talk about some tips to writing the objective. Never just state that you want to use your
skills—you need to specify the skills. State a specific position rather than a generic
department or category: like don’t say I want a job related to business. That’s too generic. So here we have a very specific job–a web
development management position. Ok they’ve listed a specific job, and then they’ve listed
specific skills they want to utilize–public speaking, leadership, commuter programming
skills. So this objective is specific, and its narrowed, and it tells the prospective
employer here’s what I want to do, and here’s why I would be good at it because I have these
skills. If you are seeking an internship, summer position
only, or something not permanent, then make sure you state that in your objective.
And if you have several different objectives, create more than one version of your resume.
Each version of your resume can be slightly different to support the new objective.
If you are taking your resume to a job fair with lots of employers or posting online,
you can have a broader objective—stating two or three related interests—but do not
be vague. You still need to be specific. For example, you can say looking for a job
as a workshop presenter or tutor. You’ve got two specific things, they are related a little
bit, but you know they’re different interests, but it’s not so I’ve got two or three related
interests, but I am not being vague at all. So now we’re going to talk about writing the
career summary if you choose to have one of those rather than an objective. Again, we will begin with the function because
it helps to write a career summary well if you know what the purpose is. Describe who
you are at this moment in time; list your accomplishments, obviously, you will expand
on those in the experience section below, but you can touch on them here; and list skills
you posses. In essence, with your carer summary basically what you are doing is you should
explain the value you will offer this prospective employer. This is where reading the mission
statement comes in: you can change your career summary for each specific job you send in
a resume to. So if I am sending a resume to this one company, I look up their mission
statement and I see they really are looking for people who can bring in new ideas, then
I will highlight that in my career summary. Versus another company that is really looking
for people who are team players and will work with the ideas already there, so it just depends
on what they’re looking for and what you can highlight in your career summary. So there are different ways to format this
career summary. You can put it in a paragraph like this one. However, even with this being
in a paragraph, you’ll notice that they aren’t complete sentences. They are sentences that
begin with our action verbs that we talked about in the general tips section. So it’s
still written in resume style: beginning with action verbs and not a complete sentence.
It is just structured to look like a paragraph. Another idea is to list them into a bulleted
list form like this one. So it puts it into a bulleted list. For each of those bulleted
list items, I have listed what each one talked about. Like the first bullet talked about
their relevant experience, 2nd bullet talked about their job qualifications, then they
talked about their achievements, and then they listed some personality traits. And those
are some great things to include in your career summary. So that’s how they divvied up the
bullets here, one bullet about each kind of topic within their career summary. And the
last one is you can have a title with a paragraph underneath. For example, here they have a
title, and this kind of acts like a mini objective right before their career summary. This title
lists what position they are looking for, and then they have this subtitle here that
says what they are going to do for the company. I’m going to increase your bottom line. That’s
awesome–they are telling you what they are going to offer, and then down below they’ve
listed their accomplishments as proof that they can offer that. Now for tips, there are just some questions
you might want to think about to help you write this section. Why should the employer
care about you? Who are you as a person; who are you as an employee? What is your value
to the company? What is your current position and main focus? How can you show your enthusiasm
and love for what you do? What are the main things you have accomplished throughout your
career? (yes, those things can be expanded on further down below, but we talked about
how this spot is prime real estate, so you want to get those things in there. ) Check out the supplement material section
for this lecture as you will see these slideshows there as well as examples of well-written
objectives and well-written career summaries. So if you need some further examples to give
you ideas, please check that out in the supplement material.

6 thoughts on “Resume Writing: Objective versus Career Summary

  1. The explanation is good. The way you made the video with sub titles, highlighting the points on the ipad(not sure of the device) and tutor being visible to the audience is very attractive. Could you please also make a video on design part of the resume like what fonts(serif, san serif) we need to use for headings, content which will make resume attractive.

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