Why Career Objectives Are Outdated


Career ObjectivesThe concept and history of the Career Objective is an interesting one; while it was once considered an integral part of an executive resume or CV, Career Objectives are now often viewed as an unnecessary and outdated practice that adds no value to your resume document. Why is this?

The History of the Career Objective

In more traditional recruitment times, a Career Objective was thought to be useful for candidates to communicate their career goals and to explain how their skills and experience could contribute to a given organisation.

Some employers also argued that a Career Objective was a way for them to quickly see whether the candidate was the ‘right’ person for the job and to confirm that the candidate was committed to the role long term.

However, over time, Career Objectives have lost a lot of credence, mostly because they are very limiting in nature and because they are usually poorly composed by candidates.

What many employers also discovered was that there was very little room for candidates to justify or elaborate on their supposed talents in the Career Objective.

Many candidates also used the career objective to tell the employer what they wanted to hear or to simply repeat what they had read in the job advertisement.

Why You Shouldn’t Include a Career Objective

When you apply for a job, a Career Objective does very little to convince the employer you are the best person for the job. Most of the time, the reader will simply skim over or ignore your objective and skip straight to the nitty-gritty details of your experience.

A Career Objective is also redundant because:

  • In applying for the job, you are automatically telling the employer that the job aligns with your career goals. If it didn’t, why would you apply for the role?
  • Recruitment is much more fast-paced and diverse industry in today’s times and most recruiters are now unconcerned about your personal career objectives or needs. All that matters to them is that you are the right person for the role. If they do want to know more about your long term plans, they will ask you during the interview.
  • If you do happen to make your Career Objective too detailed or specific, an employer may rule you out at the first glance, especially if what you have stated does not fit in with what they are looking for.
  • A poorly written objective can detract significantly from your professional resume, particularly if it clashes with the rest of the details in your resume or if it uses vague, flowery or weak language.

When Should You Use a Career Objective?

The only circumstances under which you should include a Career Objective in your executive resume is if:

  • The recruiter or employer has, for some reason, specifically requested it.
  • You are changing industries and your experience does not support the role you are applying for. In this case, you can use the Career Objective to clarify this move, so that the reader doesn’t feel your application is completely unsuitable or mismatched.

Alternatives to the Career Objective

Some executive candidates feel that having a Career Objective acts as an introduction on the front page of their resumes. If you feel the need to explain your competencies in your application, you should instead:

  • Include a cover letter with your executive resume application. A cover letter is a much more comprehensive document that allows you to clarify exactly how your skills relate to the employer’s selection criteria statement.
  • Replace your Career Objective with your Value Proposition. Your Value Proposition is a brief defining statement that summarises who you are, what value you can bring to a company and what your personal brand represents.
  • Consider including a summary of your talents and experience. This might be similar to the background summary that is included on your LinkedIn profile. This should be a quick, easy to read snapshot that gives employers an overview of your skills and value.

Above all else, you will need to make sure that whichever method of communication you choose is extremely well written in order to stand out from other applications.

Resumes Australia provides results-driven services to executives, CEOs and professionals who seek career guidance, resume writing assistance and executive coaching. Review all of our career services here.

Regards,

kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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