Stop Writing Resume Objectives and Start Writing These Instead

Dec 26, 2014 - Joe Matar
The dreaded resume objective — no one likes to write them and hiring managers don't like to read them. The resume objective is intended to show potential employers your qualifications for the job and your knowledge level within the field. What was once seen as a strategic way to stand out in a crowd of candidates is now seen as outdated and overused. Instead, sought-after candidates are crafting and customizing personal branding statements to tell recruiters "These are the values I offer to your company" rather than "This is what I want in a position at your company." The personal branding statement is short and attention-grabbing, and highlights your values, uniqueness and expertise level. Forbes puts it plainly: "Your personal brand is all about who you are and what you want to be known for." Let's look at the three key elements to crafting your personal branding statement.

1. Your values

Your values are core principles you live by. These are a set of rules that govern your choices, attitude and actions in life. It’s the promise of your values that sets you apart from your competitors. It’s also a promise to your prospective employer that you’ll deliver what’s expected. To help you with defining your set of values, consider answering these questions.
  1. What makes you different from others?
  2. What’s your best personal trait?
  3. How do others describe you?
  4. What personal qualities do you value the most?

2. Your expertise level

The next component to your personal branding statement is your expertise in your field of work. This is where you can showcase your skill set, knowledge and strengths. When describing your expertise level, use simple but powerful words. (Click here to tweet this quote.) For example, if your skill is writing up sales training manuals for companies, don't state: "Wrote sales training manuals that incorporated multimedia, group exercises and personality questionnaires." Use action-oriented verbs that’ll impact and persuade a potential employer. Also incorporate quantifiable information as it shows your expertise in generating growth. A better approach to the above statement: "Designed and implemented sales training manuals for corporations that resulted in 43 percent new business." In this final sentence, you don’t mention how the training information was presented, as that doesn't showcase your strengths. Stating a statistic of business growth shows the potential employer what you have to offer and what you’re capable of offering. Try using these action-oriented verbs when designing your personal branding statement.
  • Conceptualized
  • Pioneered
  • Reduced
  • Increased
  • Collaborated
  • Targeted
  • Managed
  • Achieved
  • Maximized
  • Generated
For more action verbs, check out Great Resumes Fast’s and Career Realism’s posts.

3. Your unique selling points

Your personal branding statement must exemplify the qualities that make you suitable for a position in a company. Why should they hire you? Consider any awards you received in the past that might be applicable to your brand. You might also want to consider previous compliments you've received at work and any other exceptional career moments. Was there something you were able to solve at work that others couldn't? Look for specific career moments and use them in your personal branding statement. For example, if you were able to solve a technical problem others had trouble with, you could say: Foundation in innovative troubleshooting

Let's put the personal branding statement together

Now that you have the key elements to writing a winning personal branding statement, the next thing is to make sense out of it. Here’s a basic template you can use. [One or two words describing your strengths] [who you are] with experience in [your expertise]. [Showcase your unique selling points]. Here’s an example for an IT specialist.
I'm a technically savvy troubleshooter in the field of IT with eight years experience in pioneering the latest wireless network security software and saving companies thousands of dollars with my latest software development. I'm recognized as a leader in configuring and implementing secure wireless solutions for businesses in downtown Chicago.
This is one of many basic templates you can use. Feel free to explore other personal branding statements and tailor it to your liking. Elna Cain (@ecainwrites) is a freelance writer for hire who specializes in career, health and parenting advice. You can find more about Elna and her services at Innovative Ink, where you can grab your free info guide to “8 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Email When Pitching to Clients.”