Do you want to earn bread? Or will your future be toast?

Do you want to earn bread? Or will your future be toast?

Ask any resume writer or career professional, resume writing  and job search has changed dramatically in the last five years. Resumes are much more focused, much more value-oriented and accomplishment-driven.

It’s scary to jump into a job search right now after the past two years of economic confusion and uncertainty. But if you are honest, most people would say yes, they want to earn bread and no, they don’t want their future to be toast.

To demonstrate some of the changes, let’s look at two of the common questions I get from clients:

1. → Do I need an objective statement? — A high-level sales client just asked me yesterday if she needed one, after she was looking at her brand new shiny resume.

  • No, objective statements, such as this: “To obtain a stable position in which my skills will be utilized and broadened.” are a thing of the past.  I e-mailed her the link to this post, I wrote with Jason Alba on the topic: Objecting to Objective Statements on Resumes.

Jason: What’s a good alternative then, if you don’t put on the objective statement? Why?

Julie: You want a Banner Headline, such as Sales Manager, coupled with perhaps a branding statement which adds uniqueness and personality.

Sales Manager | Operations Manager | Business Coach

Talented Leader and Manager with initiative to move projects forward.
Excels in delivering exceptional customer experience and satisfaction.

You could offset that with graphic lines or put it in a text box to grab the reader’s attention. This strategy puts you back in a marketing mode, again selling YOU the product.

2. → What about reference available upon request? Shouldn’t I put that on the bottom of my resume?

  • Again, No! I do recommend that my clients either create the simple reference sheet format, like this:

John Smith
Marketing Manager
XYZ Company
123 Brown Street | Chicago, IL 60615
(602) 555-7777 |

  • Or you could use an enhanced reference format with a two column format that would explain how you know John. You would keep the details of above in one column and then in the second column add something like:

John can attest to how I:

  • Identified benefits of “skilled client referrals” (i.e. Physical / Occupational Therapy and Skilled Nursing) and implemented new recruiting models with therapy and nursing schools to promote company as premier employer, resulting in increasing profit margins and revenue stream.

3. →  What else is different?

These were fairly basic questions but since I hear them frequently from clients at every level of their career (entry-level to executive), it seemed like a good time to go back to some of the basics!

Julie Walraven is a triple-certified resume writer whose interactive coaching style helps job seekers earn winning positions when she creates tactical resumes and LinkedIn profiles to market you for success. Learn more here.

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  1. Ari Herzog on October 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    That’s amusing, considering my objective statement is specific to the organization I’m applying, e.g. OBJECTIVE: Blah Manager at XYZ Associates.

    And, I’ve received responses from it so something’s working. Then again, I also have a summary of qualifications and a tailored cover letter.

    • Julie Walraven on October 23, 2010 at 4:10 am

      If I’m reading you correctly, Ari, I think you are already doing exactly what we suggest, creating a targeted headline for your resume.

      You may call it an objective statement but it isn’t close to the old version. I think I should have left an example in the post of the old style, something like: “To obtain a challenging position that will use my skills in engineering and allow me to grow with the potential for new opportunities.” – I just edited the post with a cut & paste of a very old “1993” version of an objective statement.

      If you are targeting positions, showing what talents you bring to the position / company and sharing value-infused accomplishments, then I think you are on the right track.

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