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One change you should make on your resume today. Recruiters will love you for it!

Connel Valentine Aug 26, 2017
As hiring managers, we receive and review a lot of resumes. Here is the opening of one I received on Aug 19, 2017.

"Objective: Seeking a position as a quality assurance engineer in a challenging environment wherein my 5+ years of experience as a quality engineer can be utilized and I can focus on continuous learning and development."

Does this objective statement resemble the top of what's on your resume? If so, you need to get rid of it right away, and here's why.

What do hiring managers care about?

Hiring managers don't care about your "objective". All they care about is what you can do to solve a problem they have in their jobs. That's it! Period! Nothing more, nothing less.

It takes hiring managers and recruiters just 6 seconds to scan a resume before they decide to call you for the interview or toss your resume in the trash. With the above objective, the first thing you're telling them is "My goal is to find a job" - you just wasted two out of the six seconds you have stating the obvious.

Why won't the objective summary work?

Because it's too selfish! It's all about you and what you want:

- "I want a job"
- "I want to learn"
- "I want to be in a challenging environment"
- "I want to utilize my skills"

If a car salesperson was trying to sell you a brand new Toyota, the equivalent sales pitch of the above statement would be "Seeking an opportunity to sell you a car only if you have the money to buy it, wherein my 5+ years of experience as a salesperson will convince you to give me your money, and I can focus on spending my commission on a vacation in Hawaii."

Would you buy the car?

So what's the answer?

Instead of an objective, use those precious six seconds to summarize your qualifications that match what is asked for in the job description. Instead of a selfish objective, you're looking to create a Professional Summary. 

Recruiters love bullet points. It makes the resume more readable and easy to scan in those few seconds. Remember, they are going through piles of resumes and that last thing they want to see is clutter.

So what should you include in those bullets?

Bullet 1

Your target job title, the years you worked in that industry, and a statement about your biggest strength applicable to this role. For example, if the job description for the role our quality assurance job seeker is applying for had the keywords "Process" and "ISO 9001" in it, his first bullet point could be:

"A quality assurance engineer with 5+ years of experience in the manufacturing industry, with process driven focus, ensuring 95% compliance with ISO 9001 standards.

Bullet 2 (and 3)

A hard skill and how you applied it in your past experience. A hard skill is a technical skill or qualification that has tangible results that you specify in the point. To continue our example, if the job description stated that six sigma experience was an asset, our job seeker could have stated:

"Green belt Six Sigma certified, documenting and guiding the business on process driven methodologies, reducing process cycle times by 18% in 8 months"

Bullet 4 (and 5)

A soft skill and how you apply it to your role. A soft skill is an intangible component of your work ethics and is important to a hiring manager to assess if you're a cultural fit for the team and the organization. Once again, using the job description as a guide, if it stated that communication skills are important, our aspiring QA engineer could have said:

"Effective communication skills in collaborating with engineers and senior management, documenting clear and concise fault reports, and establishing a positive rapport with vendors and clients."

Why is this better?

The purpose of your resume is to get the interview. To get the interview, you must stand out of the competition. Our QA engineer's objective statement, in the beginning, was not only selfish, it was also boring and generic.

The content of your professional summary is unique to you, and uniqueness stands out! No one else shares the same professional experiences you had in the past. What you are essentially doing is calling out those unique experiences and connecting it back to the keywords highlighted in the job description.

This will accomplish two things:

1. It will rank your resume higher in the applicant tracking system (the software that screens your resume based on keywords)

2. By tying it back to the job description, it will ensure you are speaking to the needs of the hiring manager.

Make that change

You have SIX seconds! Make sure the top of your resume is easy to read and relevant to the job you're applying for. Use the above bullet points and you will get the recruiter past the six second barrier and reading the rest of your resume. Prepare to start to see those interview calls coming in.

We've constructed a resume template that takes these points (and more) into consideration, complete with comments and examples. To get your free copy, head on down to the bottom of the page to download your new resume.