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Objective Exploration

Mark Mzyk | January 30, 2009

The first thing on a resume, after the obligatory name and contact byline, is the objective block.

In college, I was required to take a communication class that focused on the basics of business communication.  I remember assignments such as giving a five minute speech, writing a memorandum, and the like.  Writing our resume was one of the assignments.  Advice was given on how to write an effective objective statement.  I don’t remember what it was, but I’m sure I followed it.  This was the result:

To gain a full time position that utilizes my computer science and writing skills.

Looking back, it’s clear that my objective did not land me my job.

I’m rewriting my resume in full view on the web, putting myself out in the open.  I should be as open on my resume as I am on the web.  My resume, a sheet of paper, needs to reflect me.  With that in mind, here is my first take at a new objective:

I want to work with people who are as passionate about writing software as I am.

Not exactly a chart topper, but it’s a start.  What does it say about me?  It’s now clear I’m looking for passion, as opposed to just a job.  But passion isn’t everything I’m looking for.  Having a mentor is also important to me.

Take two:

I want to work with people who know more about writing software than I do and can elevate me to the next level.

Now it’s clear that having a mentor is important to me, but any feeling of passion has been left out.

Three:

I want to work with people who can elevate me to the next level because of their extensive knowledge, wisdom, skill, and passion.

Better, but it still needs work.  It’s too dry.  Time to keep iterating over my objective, tweaking, changing, seeing what results.   Here are the next few iterations:

I want to work with people who can elevate me to the next level of software development because of their extensive knowledge, wisdom, skill, and passion.

I need to work with people who can elevate me to the next level of software development because of their extensive knowledge, wisdom, skill, and passion.

Want has changed to need, because need is stronger.  Passion and the desire for a mentor are present.  Overall it’s a stronger statement.  Still, something is missing.

I need to work with people who share my passion for writing software and who will help me elevate my skills to the next level, all while producing great software that helps others.

Perfect.  Passion, mentoring, and now great software.  Not just any great software: great software that helps others, because software in a vacuum is worthless.  I’ve found my new objective.

This objective is a far cry from the objective that graced my old resume.  That’s expected, because today I’m not the same person I was almost three years ago.  My new objective is fitting, because it reflects me and what I want to accomplish: exactly what an objective should be.

How does your objective reflect you?  If you haven’t written an objective in a while, does your old one still fit?  If not, how have you changed and how can you change it to fit you?

Filed in: General.

2 Comments

  1. Comment by Tom:

    That’s an impressive and insightful objective.

    January 31, 2009 @ 00:14
  2. Comment by Mark:

    Thanks Tom. I’m happy with it. I also hope it was insightful on how I came up with it. It was an iterative process that eventually led to the perfect objective. If I had put down the first thing I thought of my objective would barely be better than the one I had on my old resume.

    February 3, 2009 @ 07:45