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I wish to convey to prospective employers that I not only want to use my skills, but hone and sharpen them as well.

  1. Does the below paragraph do justice to it?
  2. Do you have any suggestions?
  3. Does the paragraph sound boastful?

To obtain a position and work environment, that will not only enable me to use my strong organizational skills, educational background, and ability to work well with people, but sharpen them as well.

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This snippet starts mid-sentence - is it a paragraph under a wider "Goals" section or some such? If so, it feels to me like you're subverting your structure by praising your existing skills rather than focusing on your actual goal - sharpening them. –  Standback Apr 10 '11 at 9:51
    
@Standback -- well, you know it's a bullet item under "Ojectives" in the man's résumé so, even as a fragment, it's OK and customary. –  Pete Wilson Apr 10 '11 at 12:25
    
Well, I do not know if it sounds bad, but thats the entire paragraph in my resume, that states my objective. @Standback It doesnt start mid-sentence. –  theTuxRacer Apr 10 '11 at 14:47
2  
Yes, it does start mid-sentence, whether you wanted it to or not. The beginning of the sentence would be "My goal is..." or something similar. –  Ralph Gallagher Apr 10 '11 at 14:52
1  
A good first step might be observe that "hone" and "sharpen" mean the same thing. Recall what Professor Strunk said to his class on the first day: "Omit needless words! Omit needless words! Omit needless words!" –  Malvolio Apr 15 '11 at 2:39

7 Answers 7

I recommend leaving the "objective" off the resume, and saving it for your cover letter. Use the limited space in your resume to summarize your experience and qualities in two or three short paragraphs, then follow the general reverse-chronological format for experience, education and skills. I also concur with Mary Aho, about simply stating your name and the job title at the top of your resume. I can't say this is the right way for everyone, but it's worked well for me.

The cover letter is your opportunity to explain why they should bother looking at your resume. Your cover letter can be more conversational in tone than your resume, but avoid inappropriate informality, txt-speak, etc. Use a spell checker and have an English-savvy person read through it before sending.

My cover letter goes more or less like this:

Para 1: Please consider my resume for (job opening). I have (years of experience or educational qualification) as a (job title).

Para 2: My recent work experience includes (highlights of your history relevant to the type of business, paraphrased to match the requirements from the ad).

Para 3: (Related experience, relevant but not necessarily specific to requirements).

Para 4: My goal is to add value to your company by delivering (your work products) that ensure your customers' success. I'm mature and dependable (or whatever other positive EEOC-appropriate descriptors you can honestly use), with a strong work ethic and a dedication to customer satisfaction.

Para 5: I currently live in (where I live), but am willing to relocate for the right opportunity (only include this if it's true). I'd like to talk with you further about the position, and show you how I can contribute to your success. (work samples, if applicable) Professional references are available on request.

Para 6: You may contact me by (email, phone, mobile). I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Closing: Best regards, (your name)

Attachments: Resume, samples, if applicable.

I wish you success in your job search.

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Thanks a lot, Good Sir :) –  theTuxRacer Apr 30 '11 at 8:45

Objective statements are generally old school these days. I'd eliminate it altogether. If you think its important, you can simply state the objective title at the top of the resume (i.e. MARKETING ANALYST). After that, I would focus on highlighting what you bring to the table. Its common (though not always used) to start with a summary paragraph that highlights how amazing you are and your accomplishments and a few highlight reel bullets below that before then going into the traditional Chronological or Functional formats.

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Your objective is too self-centered - provide benefits to your prospective employer:

To use and develop my strong organizational and interpersonal skills for mutual benefit in a challenging and stimulating environment.

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A sentence fragment is fine, as complete sentences usually aren't necessary on résumés. How about:

To use and continue developing my organizational skills, education, and ability to work well with people.

This is a résumé. You use it to look for a job. So it's redundant in a way to say you want to "obtain a position." I changed "sharpen" to "continue developing" because you don't "sharpen" your education or your ability to work well with people. That metaphor only works with "skills."

Having made the suggestion, though, I would also suggest thinking about whether you really need to state an objective. I am no career counselor, but I do follow several career blogs. The latest in conventional wisdom says career objective statements aren't necessary and, at worst, they can pigeonhole you. Your objective is so generic that, while it might not pigeonhole you, it's not saying a whole lot either. Is it really adding anything to your résumé?

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I couldn't agree more. I also do not like putting 2 lines to start my resume, for many reasons, one of which is mentioned by you. One of the other reason being, it just sounds like management BS. –  theTuxRacer Apr 12 '11 at 4:33

Evaluating resume stuff in a vacuum is really hard. That being said, a couple of thoughts:

  1. In general, I think you're approaching the problem incorrectly. You're trying to write an Objective statement. Everyone knows you're looking for a job, otherwise you wouldn't be submitting your resume, so re-stating this is redundant.

  2. Your style is overly stiff; you're trying too hard. Believe it or not, you're talking to a person, so talk to them. You wouldn't use your sentence in a conversation, so don't use it in your resume, either.

  3. Don't mention your educational background. They'll see it further down anyway. At best it's redundant. At worst, it's orthogonal. What you don't need is someone thinking "I don't see what a degree in Economics has to do with making widgets...?" before they even talk to you.

I would try to say something meaningful about myself rather than trying to say what I think an employer might want to hear. Without knowing more about you or the work you're looking for, I can't be more specific. I don't use Objective statements anymore, but here's an example that served me well in the past:

I like working with smart, motivated people doing interesting work.

People in mediocre work cultures think this is a meaningless platitude, so they'll call me out on it during an interview which is an excellent conversation starter. Indeed that's the whole point: to start a meaningful dialog.

OTOH, companies with strong cultures understand what you're talking immediately. In this case it's a signalling mechanism: I'm one of you.

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1  
A minor aside: every time I see the word "obtain", I imagine a high school kid with a thesaurus trying to find alternatives for "to get" because his teacher told him he shouldn't use it. This is bad advice because the student misses the real point: there are better, more meaningful ways of expressing the concept than simply plugging in a synonym. The teacher should pay attention to the expression of the idea instead of the word choice which is itself just a manifestation of the real problem. All the student remembers later is that get = bad, even when it's really the best choice. –  rianjs Apr 10 '11 at 14:03
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I wonder how many hiring managers "in mediocre work cultures" wouldn't interview you at all because of that objective. :) –  Lynn Beighley Apr 11 '11 at 13:06
    
@Lynn, in that case, it would be "mission accomplished," as it wouldn't be somewhere I'd want to work anyway. –  Orbital Bundle Apr 29 '11 at 18:49

I seek a position in which I can use and strengthen:

  1. My proven technical ability, organizational aptitude, and social skills;

  2. ...

  3. ...

Could that work?

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As usual, simple is better, and this is a bit wordy.

Are 'position' and 'work environment' so different that they need to be expressed separately? I'm not sure on that one.

But in terms of the rest, I think the same meaning would be conveyed by:

To obtain a position and work environment that will enable me to use and sharpen my strong organizational skills, education, and ability to work well with people.

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