The Objective Statement – Why I Don’t Like It. Use a Biosketch Summary Instead. (See www.SueMentors.blogspot.com)
As you know, if you’ve been reading my blog, I get resumes frequently. I have watched styles of resumes change - and I have even changed how I do my resume, the biggest change being that I now include a summary of my experience and skills at the top of the first page.
Many resumes, especially from younger professionals, now come with an objective statement. It tells me much of what they may also include in their cover letter (although I realized a few months ago that these are no longer coming to me now that SSS’ HR department uses an online application system). The objective statement tells me what they want to do in their career.
But oftentimes, these seem superfluous to me, at their best, and occasionally arrogant, at their worst.
When I review your CV, I assume you’re applying for a job with me or contacting me because you want a job and/or advice about work in research, evaluation, or public health.
What I need and what I look for is a summary of you. I try to glean that from your current or most recent job. I also skim over your educational training, your professional affiliations and organizations, and your publications, conference abstracts, and white papers and reports to build a picture in my mind of who you are professionally and how you’ve gathered experiences and skills.
So if you can provide that, it’s not only helpful to me – it gives me a head start on getting to know you. It tells me how you see yourself and how you capture the essence of you into a brief paragraph. This is also good practice for you to be able to describe yourself and your best qualities quickly, something you should be able to do when you are interviewed or meet someone and have a networking opportunity.
And this summary has the advantage of being something I can quickly copy and paste into an email for sharing your CV with colleagues. It makes my networking go faster and may bring you an opportunity you may not have had.
So, I believe you should have a summary of your skills and experience at the top of your CV. But don’t feel you have to take my advice about what to include in your CV. You should make your own decision about this. Toni Bowers at Tech Republic discusses the objective statement here so feel free to follow her advice if you prefer to go in that direction: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/career/?p=1786&tag=nl.e101
Whichever way you go, just make sure your CV's first page shows you in your best light.