If it has been a while since your last job search, you might be surprised to learn that an objective statement is no longer an essential part of the standard resume. A stable of the past, objective statements are now considered to be bulky space-fillers that keep hiring managers from quickly reading the important sections of your resume, which showcase industry experience. Hiring managers often sort through hundreds of resumes a day and you have a very limited amount of time to grab their attention. Including an objective statement takes away time and focus from what really matters on your resume, and could hold you back from landing an interview.
One of the main reasons objective statements have become so outdated is that they are very self-focused. The nature of these statements is to explain what you are seeking in a position, rather than letting employers know what skills you have to offer —what can the company do for me rather than what can I do for the company. For example:
“Seeking a senior-level public relations position in a fast-paced environment with a positive company culture and a good work-life balance.”
While the goals are admirable and realistic, this does nothing to show employers how you’ll be an asset to their business, which is ultimately what they’re looking for in a resume. The question is then: how do you demonstrate you’re the right candidate for a job? Consider instead, a “branding statement”.
Generally located at the top of a resume, a branding statement provides a brief overview of who you are as a candidate while highlighting core accomplishments. For example:
“Award-winning Public Relations specialist whose clients have included Red Cross, HRC, and Google. Secured news coverage from NBC, CNN, NY Times and Time Magazine. Specializes in Non-Profit PR. Adept in campaign development, social media content creation and sticking to a strict budget.”
With this branding statement, it only takes two sentences for hiring managers to gain an appreciation of this candidate’s accomplishments and career path. The purpose of a branding statement is to craft a compelling story of yourself as a candidate that ultimately emphasizes why you’re the best fit for the job.
A successful branding statement offers the employer a look into your skills, industries you’ve worked in, special projects and accomplishments. The key here is to focus on the value you offer, not your goals.
It is worth noting that branding statements may take up space that you just don’t have. Use your judgment: review the job descriptions and accomplishments in your history of employment and see if there is repetition with what you are stating in the brand statement. Or, evaluate if you’ve mentioned some lesser responsibilities that you can relay in an interview. Be sure to prioritize when structuring your resume!
Understanding the difference between objective statements and branding statements on a resume is the first step in improving your job search to help you land that ideal job. Branding statements are a great way to take your resume to the next level so you stand out as a qualified candidate amongst a sea of job seekers.