Standard career advice dictates that you should create a new resume objective for each position you apply for. Generic objectives reveal little about what sets you apart from other candidates, but a targeted objective leaves no doubt in an employer’s mind that you fit the profile of the ideal candidate. No matter how they’re phrased, generic objectives share a common characteristic: they rely on cliches or vague descriptions and don’t include specific information.
Employers see dozens of resumes with generic objectives such as “seeking a challenging and rewarding position” or “to obtain a meaningful job in a stable and rewarding work environment.” Statements such as these might sound impressive at first glance, and job seekers might think they also highlight their integrity or commitment. However, to many employers they sound like stock phrases culled from online resume examples. In addition, these sentences could apply to any applicant. People rarely seek a job they won’t enjoy or an organization at which they won’t be happy.
Your objective should offer specific, concrete information that employers can use to evaluate you against other candidates. If you write “To obtain a human resources position at a mid-sized company,” you’ve described not only yourself but also all of your fellow applicants. The statement won’t intrigue employers enough to prompt them to read your entire resume. Since employers are often inundated with applications for every advertised opening, they quickly decide who to rule out. Since your objective is the first thing they see, they might eliminate you based solely on it.
Not Tailored to the Position
A generic objective doesn’t tie your experience and skills to the type of job you’re seeking. If you’re applying for a senior management role at a nonprofit organization, for example, your objective should highlight your experience in fundraising or your commitment to community service. A generic objective might say “Seeking a director of marketing position.” A targeted objective, however, might say “Seeking a senior-level marketing position at a local nonprofit organization catering to low-income residents with disabilities and other healthcare needs.”
Too Much Information
In an effort to create a one-size-fits-all resume they can submit to any employer, job seekers sometimes offer too many details in their objective. If you are a graphic designer-photographer-videographer, don’t mention all of these roles in your objective unless you’re applying for a job requiring each of these talents. Instead, focus on your niche and on the career path you’re seeking. If you try to be all things to all people, you’ll instead come across as unfocused.