The Opening Line. The Opening Curtain. The Opening. No matter how you phrase it many people still use the Objective Summary. Has anyone asked why? Well I did. I asked 9 HR professionals in recruiting and you know what they all said? Who reads that? We already know your objective…to get the job! Another funny comment was, “why are you telling me what you want from me, when I don’t even know if I want you.” (This came from a recruiter friend who works for a Forbes Top 100 employer).
Many people do things out of habit. You know like on 95 in Northern VA going north or southbound. Everyone stops at Route 234 or 123. Not because it’s necessary but it’s almost like the science experiment when you trap mice to see if they will continue to go the way you lead them. Even when the barriers are taken away, they still stop where there were once boundaries. No rhyme, no reason, just because they’re used to it.
Acclimation and development are not the same. And everyone knows I strongly believe in Einstein’s theory of insanity, so for insanity sake, let’s look at why people still include something that is relatively moot.
1. That’s what all the resumes I Googled had on them. So? If I did everything on Google, I’d be raising sheep on my lawn, while sipping a cranberry vitamin latte to reduce water weight gain, sitting on a balance ball to strengthen my core and reciting Korean mantras for my headaches. In other words, there needs to be a reason for doing anything that you choose to do, not just because everyone else is doing it. Mothers all over the globe can breathe a collective sigh as they thank me for illustrating the point of “if your friend jumped off a bridge would you?”
2. I want to make certain the employer knows exactly what I want. And exactly how is telling them your wants in an Objective Summary going to help? I think you can cover that in a more effective manner, The Cover Letter.
3. An Objective Summary shows that I have the drive to assert my requests/demands from the beginning. Guess what? You can’t have requests or demands until such time as an interview takes place. Until that time, You my dear candidate, are just another very ordinary, run of the mill, nothing special, typical applicant seeking a job like everyone else. Until you do something that makes your words leap off the page and find a unique way to brand yourself, Sorry Charlie. BFD.
Lastly, remember resumes are a living document, it evolves and grows as you do. If you continue to be like, act like and offer what everyone else does…well, I guess the question becomes? Why should I hire you again?