You don’t have any trouble at all typing in a long post on Facebook outlining your recent trip to Vegas with your old college buddies. You can go on forever about your daughter’s latest achievements on the playing field or in the school band in an email to friends and family. Then why is it proving so very hard to sum up in a sentence or two what you want out of a new job?
The fact is, writing the objective statement that generally appears at the top of a resume is a difficult task for most people. While we surely know what we really want — a good job with good pay and good chances for advancement — we don’t know how to convey our message in a way that will appeal to prospective employers.
Here are three key tips from experts in the field —
Keep it short: Respiratory care hiring managers sift through multiple resumes—these days, sometimes upwards of 100—when seeking applicants for an open position. They will not spend more than a few short seconds on yours. A good rule of thumb is to sum everything up in a sentence or two, and no more than 50 words tops.
Keep it employer-centric: There will be plenty of time later to emphasize what you want out of the job. This is not it. Use the objective statement to clearly convey what you bring to the table, not what you hope to take from it.
Keep it specific: The objective statement will likely be the first thing that catches the hiring manager’s eye, and you need to let him know you’re qualified for the job from the outset. So, if you’re going after, say, a critical care position, this objective statement: “Registered Respiratory Therapist with eight years of ICU experience managing adult patients on mechanical ventilation seeking a position in critical care” would be far preferable to this one: “Team player who wants to integrate her skills into the care of patients in the ICU.”
Remember, the objective of the objective statement is simply to get the hiring manager to send her eye down the rest of your resume. She’ll be more likely to make that move if she knows you’re qualified for the job at hand.