If you graduated from college within the last month, submitted resumes, and received just a couple of nibbles in response, you're probably getting a little antsy. Maybe you're even looking for some menial job that can tide you over with a little cash while you search for something permanent.
While you do that, you should be looking at your resume again and thinking of ways to improve it to persuade more employers to contact you.
Look at your resume. Does it start with an Objective that focuses on what you're looking for in a job? If it does, you should shift your focus outwardly to emphasize what you have to offer the employer.
That may clash with some of the advice you've been given about how to structure your resume. But if you have a specific career goal and some experience in the field you want to work in, an outward focus would help an employer see the value you have beyond what you learned in the classroom. Employers may be interested in what you want to do, but they're more interested in what you can do for them.
Look at these two examples and decide which of the two candidates you would want to interview:
- Recent college graduate with bachelor's degree in accounting from top business school seeks challenging entry-level position with firm that offers ample growth opportunities.
- Recent college graduate with bachelor's degree in accounting, full-time experience from two summer internships, and thorough knowledge of financial accounting, cost accounting, management accounting, tax accounting, and GAAP.
If you're a hiring manager, the second example is more appealing since it offers more of an answer to the question: "What's in it for me and my company?"
Although much of your focus in college had been on chasing high grades, hanging out with friends, and working part-time jobs to put cash in your pocket—all solely for your benefit—the game has changed. Your job search has a dual focus: you and the employer. If you emphasize the employer's needs and how you can meet them, your job search will have a happy and quicker ending.
Do you believe an outward focus on your Objective can be more effective at landing an interview? Express your views below in a comment.
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