Background in management? Then you know first impressions count. And your management resume objective is your first impression to prospective employers. Here’s help.
If you’ve got a background in management and you’re looking for a job in this tough economy, you already know you’ve got a fight on your hands. Thundering herds of people are scrambling for every job opening in management. If you’re highly motivated, resistant to stress, mature and decisive, you’re off to a good start. But how do you translate those talents onto paper?
First Stop: The Management Resume Objective
Know this: not every resume requires an objective statement. In fact, career counselors are often split on whether objective statements on a resume contribute or detract. I often recommend opening with a powerful, 3-4 line profile or summary section, incorporating a few bullet points. But objectives remain commonplace. And they can be useful in fact, highly effective if employed in situations where…
1) you’re applying to a specific job, or
2) you plan to submit the resume to a job board (i.e. Monster, HotJobs, etc.), or
3) you’re a recent graduate, or
4) you’re looking to change careers, or
5) your work history is too diverse for an employer to divine what it is you’re after (and what you’re capable of doing).
Fall into one of those camps? OK, but tread carefully in composing that management resume objective. This is where half of your competitors in the job market will blow it. They don’t view their objective statement through the eyes of the employer a critical mistake. Nail the objective, and your management resume will rise to the top of the teetering stack of resumes on the desk of that hiring official.
A Tough Sell – What Not To Say
Here are some examples of objectives from management resumes on the bottom of that stack, and [in brackets] the reason why they’re stuck at the bottom.
“Seeking a challenging position in Management.”
[Too general. The candidate is offering nothing to the prospective employer.]
“A position in Management offering rapid advancement opportunities into C-level accountability.”
[Here, the candidate continues to offer nothing to the prospective employer, but adds the following negative: arrogance. Not the best strategy.]
“Seeking a position in Management which will allow me to fully utilize my considerable skills and abilities toward company improvement.”
[Considerable skills and abilities? What skills and abilities? None have been mentioned so far. Nor is the employer likely to take the time to read further to try to identify those considerable skills and abilities. And company improvement?’ What does that mean? If the employer has to ask, it must mean nothing.]
Treat The Employer To Relevant Specifics
Alex was a client with 8 years experience in industrial purchasing and materials management. After combing through his background on paper and via phone, I wrote the following objective:
“Position in MATERIALS MANAGEMENT requiring a proactive team leader and creative problem solver with a demonstrated track record for consistently generating material savings of $2.5 million annually against standard cost benchmarks.”
In this management resume objective, the candidate is offering some tangible teasers to the prospective employer, each of which (management style, creativity, results) directly impacts the position that employer is trying to fill.
Yes, first impressions count. And nowhere is a good first impression more critical than on a resume. So now, the prospective employer has a good first impression of Alex. What does the employer do with that good first impression? He keeps reading the resume.
At this point in the hiring dance, that’s as good as it gets.
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