1 Out Of 100. What Makes The Perfect Resume?
Over the last 10 years of running CSA, I’ve reviewed hundreds of resumes from people looking for work in Australia. Some of those resumes have been very close to exceptional, but many have been terrible and that’s what I want to talk about today. Resumes that can truly impress an employer always have one “clear message” in common with one another and that is: they work to show what value you bring to a company.
However, there is a section that I still find in many resumes that will get in the way of this message – the Objectives section. This section, which sits at the top of a resume, is meant to capture your career ambitions, but in fact 9 times out of 10 it will be detrimental to your value.
This is I find because most Objectives sections are too broad and can come off as if you’re unsure of yourself and exaggerating your abilities. This in turn then affects the way the employer will view the rest of the resume – i.e. what you’ve written about the value you bring to a company.
For example, if your objective is something like “I’m seeking a challenging team leadership position,” which might be true, it shows nothing about what you can do for an employer now or that you have built your way up to a point that you could be considered for a leadership position.
I.e. this example is too aspirational and not practical enough. What it should actually say is something like “I’m seeking opportunities to develop leadership skills while I work and support the team.”
Here are other examples that show why stating your objectives can hinder your value:
- Desktop Engineer looking to be hired as your next Deskside Team Leader.
- Looking for a role where I can make a difference and change the world.
The first one is too ambitious and sounds like a demand more than genuine interest. The second is too wishy-washy and presumptuous.
Such statements will hinder the way the employer views you and everything else that your resume says about your value. It creates a bias in their mind, and this can quickly end your chances of securing the job.
Overall, such objectives usually distract potential employers from focusing on what benefits you bring to their company – especially when worded poorly. So, my advice is to either remove the Objective section or temper your aspirations with what you can bring immediately to a role.
If you remove the Objectives section and you are someone with only few years of work experience, you can include a “headline” beneath your name on the resume to highlight your value. Here are a few examples to include in your perfect resume:
- Award-winning Graphic Designer
- Marketing Associate – and Social Media campaign expert
- Communications Manager for fast-growing start-up
- Biochemical engineer with neurological disease expertise
For mid-level professionals with several years of experience and valuable skills that directly relate to a role, you can replace the Objectives section with a Summary section.
Here’s an example of a summary: “Marketing executive with extensive experience building and leading campaigns and managing three to four teams. Areas of expertise include, strategic planning, journalism, project management…” and so on.
Remember, employers spend little time looking at your resume and their first glance lasts about six seconds.
If the resume doesn’t immediately deliver what they’re looking for in a candidate, then they go to the next resume. So, it’s important to use that top area of your resume wisely.
So when you’re in the middle of creating a great resume, keep in mind the above tips!
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At CSA – Career Success Australia, we work closely with you to make sure your personal brand and resume is perfect.
Contact us today – and start preparing for a career in Australia.
Careers Team @ CSA!