Let’s face it: By the time most job applicants get to a face-to-face interview, the interviewer or HR representative has already formed an opinion based on three crucial factors—the job application, the resume, and the professional summary or career objective. It’s time to take a closer look at the art of writing career objectives and professional summaries:
Understanding the difference between a career objective and a professional summary is crucial to ensure that you are providing compelling information to a potential employer. Basically, a career objective is a short or medium-lengthed blurb which explains the skills and abilities you will be able to offer to a company. While the career objective tells what you aim to do, the professional summary tells what you have already done in the past. Your career summary highlights how you were able to you help other companies that you have been a part of.
When writing a career objective, there are a few things to consider: Firstly, avoid citing what you want from the company. The principle behind a career objective is to inform the hiring manager about what you can offer, not what you are hoping for. Secondly, highlight your strongest skills. Finally, emphasize what you hope to contribute to the company and how you hope to help them achieve further success.
Your professional summary should cite what you have actually done to broaden your skill set and advance your career in the industry. This includes any training or educational degree that is relevant to the job you are seeking. It should also include your professional achievements and how you helped previous companies to reach their goals. Your professional summary should not include much, if any, personal information. The hiring manager wants to know who you are professionally, not necessarily personally.
Which is Better?
Although most job applicants usually include a career objective, some hiring managers appreciate seeing both types of descriptions along with a traditional resume. Read application details carefully to see if one or the other is preferred. If no preference is cited, then include both. Regardless of which you choose, certain rules apply to both options…
5 Writing Tips
- Always check and re-re check for typos. A typographical error does not improve your chances of making a good impression among prospective employers.
- Always let someone else read what you have written first. Using a fresh set of eyes will help you catch mistakes that you may not have seen.
- Eliminate unnecessary information. Remember that someone else’s valuable time is being used when they are reviewing your information. You should get straight to the point and include nothing extra.
- Keep it short and sweet. If a hiring manager immediately sees huge blocks of text instead of bite-sized yet informative sentences, he or she may be tempted to move on to the next applicant.
- Be confident. Use action words that showcase your strengths in the most convincing manner.
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