Jan 052011

Resumes follow a fairly set pattern, which makes them easy to write and easy to read.  Somewhere during the formalization of that pattern, however, a couple of unnecessary standardized items slipped in and became accepted as rules.   One is the thoroughly redundant ending,  “References Provided on Request” – of course you will provide references, but nobody reads that, so it really doesn’t matter.

The second usually equally redundant resume addition is the “objective statement”. If you send out a resume, your objective is probably pretty clear: You want a job or a different job or a better job. You want a recruiter to represent you or an employer to hire you. You want decent pay in a decent environment with decent people, and it should suit your background and give you a chance to succeed and build your career. None of this needs to be put in writing.

“But everyone has an objective statement,” I can hear you saying.  You’re right. As a matter of fact, nearly everyone has the same objective statement. The fact that someone started doing it and everyone thought they had to do it too, especially since nearly every resume template on the Internet including ours has one, doesn’t make it obligatory or even advisable.

Here’s the dirty truth. As a recruiter what you want is secondary to me. My primary concern is what my clients want. An employer doesn’t care what you want, either. As a matter of fact, an objective statement is more likely to get your removed from the possible candidate pool than not.

If you do decide to include a a statement in your resume, it should contain distinct and clear objectives:  “An Executive Sous Chef or Executive Chef position in the Tri City Area.”  Or: “A position which will permit me to expand my  knowledge of multi-unit management.”   If you are applying for a specific job or a specific company, that position is your objective: “I am applying for the position of sous chef in the new O’Conner’s Pub as advertised on Joe’s Job List,” “A senior management position with Tri State Grills,” etc. That is absolutely enough.

Most objective statements, however, say absolutely  nothing in too many words:

“I am seeking a challenging position in a quality restaurant and professional environment where I can  apply my talents,”  for instance.Who isn’t?  Can you imagine this, “Objective: A boring, poorly paid job slogging around a train wreck of a kitchen among dilettantes and fools”? No employer is going to read that and think, “Oh, gee. Too bad. We are a second rate hash house, so let’s not call this guy,” as every employer thinks his property is a professional, quality environment. Nor will they say, “Gee, this guy wants a professional environment and we are a professional environment. Hey, it’s a perfect match.   He’s hired.”

Here’s a variation that arrived today: “To utilize my experience, integrity, professionalism and skills, in a challenging position providing a high standard of service.” Now it’s your turn. What would the alternative be?

Some, such as, “I am an aspiring food diva,”  or, “I am looking for an Executive Chef  job in the best kitchen in the Boston area so I can improve their food, “are very funny.

Thumper said, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say nuttin at all.” In a resume or in any professional correspondence you can expand that to, “If you don’t have anything meaningful to say, don’t say nuttin at all. “

I guarantee you, nobody is going to notice that you don’t have an objective.  Less in resume presentation is usually more.  Facts, furthermore, are far more valuable than declarations. Where you worked, how long, and what you did there – your actual job responsibilities – how big it was, and the nature of the business  will impress an employer, not a silly statement of the obvious or the absurd. Save your space for the important information.

  3 Responses to “Chefspro Resume Tips: Objective Statement”

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  1. Objective should be a totally personal statement/concept, if I read that some ones objective is to come work for me then I know for sure he/she is blowing smoke up my arse and can never be trusted. Same as the companies objectives would never match a candidates. The two might takes steps along the same path but that is it, the only more useless info title is hobbies.