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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jobseeker Tip 1: CV/Resume Objectives, And A Contest!

**This blog post is first in a series about job search advice as discussed by my happy band of fellow library hiring managers, and is not related to any particular individual applicant from actual past, current, or future searches. All objectives included below are largely fictional, and any resemblance they may bear to actual CV objectives is the fault of the CV writer**

Let's talk about the "Objective" section on your CV or resume. (Or, I'll write, you read.)

Delete it.

No, really. It's a waste of precious page real estate, and while it offers you the opportunity to shoot yourself in the foot, it doesn't offer a similar-sized boon if you get it right. If you make it library-department and library type specific:

"Objective: To obtain a technical services position in an academic library setting"

you'll look like a fool if you forget to then tailor that line when you start applying for reference jobs and public library positions. (Don't laugh; there are too many library hiring managers who have seen this for it not to have happened a billionty times.)

On the other, hand, if you get it right, what is your payoff? You stated your objective is to get the job they've opened. But that doesn't make much sense; they know that. Because you've applied.

Of COURSE you want to:

"Obtain a reference and instruction position in a thriving academic library where I can use my teamwork and communication skills to provide user-centric services."

Nobody ever says they want to work in a complete hellhole where people hate each other, in a department second only to Mordor for its sheer evil, or in a place where they will be disrespected, underutilized and demeaned. Nobody's objective mentions they'd love to come work in an antiquated icebox where they can be punching bags for budget cuts. Nobody mentions wanting to work with folks who are terrified of change, technology, and monkeys. Nobody's objective ever says that they hate working with people and would prefer plying their skills in a me-centric workplace.

Delete your objective. Library hiring managers already KNOW your objective. It is to be hired into the position for which you have applied. We're much more interested in what you've been up to that fills the listed qualifications of the position.

If you have a CV objective, it had better be something worth reading, like

"To work in an academic library where teamwork is achieved over mass agreement on the deliciousness of bacon and its primacy over all other foods."

Or perhaps,

"To work in a library where there is often free, delicious food served at meetings (preferably cupcakes) and extremely casual (read: pajama pants) Fridays."

Contest time. Write me the best job-seeking CV objective you can think of. Make me laugh (or cry). Make hiring managers wish they could meet you and shake your hand. (No idea what the prize will be yet, but I'll think of something. A review of your CV/resume by myself and some of my manager-buddies? Prize recommendations also accepted in comments.)

29 comments:

Alison said...

"To work in a library where there is often free, delicious food served at meetings (preferably cupcakes) and extremely casual (read: pajama pants) Fridays."


I KNEW my CV was missing something....

Wilk said...

"To work in a participatory library where collaborative transliteracy and library renewal create empowering conversations. And also ebooks."

megan said...

To work in a siloed environment where every work spoken has to be an acronym.

HL said...

Prize Idea: One of your poetry books?

Jenica Rogers said...

To secure a position in which I can be as bad-ass as Mal Reynolds, as powerful as Neo, as charismatic as Aragorn, and as devious as Miles Vorkosigan, all while dressing like Katharine Hepburn.

M said...

To work in an environment that will provide a wide range of adventures and challenges, ultimately providing an environment of sweets and joy and joyness*.





*also allowing me to shunnnnn the nonbelievers.

Elizabeth Brown said...

To work in the library of sunshine and ice cream cones, where the magic unicorn runs through the forest, no stapler is ever broken and all library assignments are clear, logical, and vetted by the library staff. :)

Andromeda said...

@Wilk: You left out the semantic web. Also, I love you.

@Colleen: You know, that second objective sounds (except for the "library" part) an awful lot like a number of places my husband has worked. Occasionally the pants are even optional.

(Come to think of it, I work from home. Pajama pants? OK. Now where's my cupcake delivery...)

Pixie the dog said...

To find a ridiculously well-paying position where my duties are few and I have lots of time to post to Facebook and read iCanHasCheezburger?

Melanie said...

To work in a library where SoCo punch is available at each meeting, brownies make a regular appearance, and 80s music day is a monthly occurrence.

Mark Kille said...

To secure a forward-looking position where I can evolve synergies to optimize customer-driven enhancements of core products.

ellbeecee said...

Mark, you forgot "Interface with the customers" in there. ;)

Steve Lawson said...

Objective: To obtain a position in a pivotal role in an academic library; a position which would allow me to undermine the authority of those above me, belittle and terrorize those below me, and erode the confidence and camaraderie of all those who cross my path. Once I have accomplished this (in my first two to three years), I intend to move on to another career, leaving a incalculable waste of human potential and destroyed morale in my wake.

Andy W said...

To secure a position in which I can leverage my information knowledge advantages in the most affluent manner possible so as to meet, acknowledge, and exceed the detailed inquiries of library customers as well as the future forward directions of the administration.

Andy W said...

To secure a position in which I can leverage my information knowledge advantages in the most affluent manner possible so as to meet, acknowledge, and exceed the detailed inquiries of library customers as well as the future forward directions of the administration.

Margaret said...

Objective: To obtain a position in which I can stop writing job objectives and get down to the real business of working in an academic library (i.e. leaving lolcats postcards in inappropriate academic literature)

In regards to your objective one and two: http://tiny.cc/7bti6

Margaret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thewikiman said...

My objective is to work in a library where I have lots of responsibility and get to implement ideas and have things my own way, whilst working a 3-day week (on 5-day pay). Many thanks.

Maria Giovanna De Simone said...

@Steve Lawson: you need to work in Italy then - it's exactly what happens there (and I can tell!)! ;-) Loved your comment.
Objective: to work in a library where every stakeholder appreciates the invaluable contribution of the library staff to the building of ultimate knowledge for the benefit of all society in ways only librarians can understand.

Steve Lawson said...

Thanks, Maria. Happily, my entry was based mostly on exaggeration of things I have seen from afar, and not experienced first hand. Sorry if you've had to deal with the kind of workplace bomb that was imagining!

Maria Giovanna De Simone said...

@Steve Lawson: no worries, I happily escaped to the UK!

Anonymous said...

I seek a position where people will worship the ground I walk on as well as any and all insane, complex, redundant schemes/plots/ideas I may come up with. Also, related to my main objective I seek to rid academic libraries in general of any and all children's collections.
Love ME

Brian said...

To find a position where I can use my awesomeness, and the help of my sparkly pony, Peaches, to defeat the forces of evil

Corin said...

To gain a position of authority, where I am highly paid to run a library as an autocrat, with no accountability for results or outcomes.

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Anyway, looking to make more posts soon.....

Anonymous said...

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

Ruby Claire said...

Hello,

is there any difference in writing style of resume objective in CV, i think Cv is differ than Resume.


So i guess there would be Cv objective too..


Resume objectives

resumesplanet.com said...

many library hiring managers who have seen this for it not to have happened a billionty times.)

career said...

This article is so good for building a brilliant CV. Its Cv Tips is so good.