Having read through thousands of resumes from right here in West Michigan let me fill you in on my resume discoveries. Whether you are a professional searching for your next career, or a hiring manager searching for the next best candidate, it is useful to understand what makes a resume outshine the rest: an impactful Career Objective.

resume lightsWatch out for a Career Objective that reads: “To obtain a position where I am able to utilize my skills” – Or your resume just may be thrown out the window! Isn’t that statement the point of every job application? The candidate is trying to obtain a position where he/she will be utilizing some sort of skills to get the job done, right? Do not waste time stating the obvious.

Instead, a candidate should take advantage of the Career Objective to list his/her unique skills, as well as determine what position would be an ideal fit for the skillset. How a candidate describes himself will help set him apart from the rest, and also show a sense of confidence and self-awareness.


When reading a Career Objective, I hope to learn what the candidate is bringing to the table (i.e. the specific skills that the candidate will utilize). The candidate should describe his or her finest talents and characteristics in one sentence, using action verbs, buzz words, and original phrases. This shows the hiring manager that the candidate is not only unique, but more probable to be technologically-inclined, since they are savvy enough to be using attention-grabbing vocabulary in one concise sentence.

AVOID: “I am a hard-working, results-oriented sales leader.” Phrases such as ‘hard-working’ and ‘results-oriented’ are a thing of the past, since these skills are now the bare necessities for a candidate to get their foot in the door of an organization.

CHOOSE: “I pioneer sales techniques through innovative social media advertising.” Employers are looking for impactful candidate descriptions, such as ‘pioneering,’ ‘innovative,’ and ‘ambitious,’ to name a few.


My eyes twinkle when I see a Career Objective that specifies an ‘ideal’ position, as it helps me understand what the candidate can do and what she wants to do. Even if I have someone who states a position very different from what I need, sometimes I can see a possible fit. For example, I had a candidate who wrote her ideal position as “Bank Manager” and all of those qualities fit the position I was looking for to fill a “Financial Analyst” position. Knowing what the candidate wanted helped me to see a potential link for a great fit.

Remember, your Career Objective helps a potential employer see what you do, what you want to do, and how you see yourself. That opening sentence or two of your résumé provides a window to how I perceive the rest of the document. You can make sure I see your professionalism as you want me to see it if you have a Career Objective that guides me to only one conclusion: This candidate is headed in the direction where she will be the “right fit” for the position.