You will have two kinds of objectives when looking for a job. There are the objectives that matter to you, such as getting a paycheck and your personal fulfillment from the position. The other objective is more arbitrary: the objective you list on your application or resume. Though both are important, they are so different that they deserve to be called by different names.
Getting paid is the main reason people go to work. Even people who love their jobs --- and might legitimately do the work for free --- wouldn't go in on beautiful days, or days their spouse have off from work, if they weren't getting paid. Understanding how much income you require to fulfill your basic needs and wants is a key objective in your job hunt. It establishes a threshold so you know not to waste your time applying for jobs that won't meet your minimum pay standards.
Full-time work, and a few enlightened part-time employers, provide benefits other than cash payments to their employees. Some of the most common include health insurance, retirement contributions and paid time off. As you consider jobs, list the benefits that you consider to be deal-breakers. This helps you understand your objectives in terms of the type of work you will do, and the compensation package you will require.
Daniel Pink researches the science of human motivation and decision-making. In his book "Drive," he reports that employees are happiest in jobs they consider fulfilling. Your objectives and definition for "fulfilling" work will differ from others. Some people are motivated by high pay, while others value making a societal contribution. Many freelancers feel more fulfilled by personal freedom than by the security of a regular job. Making personal fulfillment an objective when finding a job can help you simplify the process by limiting the field to which you apply.
Unlike your personal objectives for finding a job, the objective on your resume is strictly defined. Further, while your personal objectives help you find jobs suitable for you, the resume objective should be tailored to be suitable for the position. Traditionally, you should locate the "Objectives" section of your resume near the top, just below your contact information header. The objective should state in one or two sentences exactly what you want to do for the company to which you are applying. For best results, this should closely match the position as defined in the job description. Resume expert Kathy Fisher says that many applicants skip this entirely, instead leading resumes with a list of "applicable skills." Instead of describing the job you want, this method instead demonstrates how you will successfully do the job they're offering.
- "Job Hunting for Dummies"; Max Messmer; 1999
- "Drive"; Daniel Pink; 2009
- Kathy Fisher; Freelance Technical Writer; Virginia
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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