Thursday, August 30, 2012

Objectives that don't suck

It seems that most résumés have a generic objective copied from one of many "how to write a résumé" articles. You know the kind; "To utilize and expand my skills in blah blah blah". I think that's lame. Why start your résumé with some vague cookie-cutter bullshit that you copy-and-paste then forget about? My objective is "To work on a project that users want to use and maintainers want to maintain.". It's nothing fancy but it's honest and to the point and I actually believe it. I'm glad when something I create is useful to others and they want to use it. I'm glad when someone, usually myself or a coworker, is able to extend or change it to do something else.

But not everyone wants those things. Recent experiences with clients who are more concerned with making sure the software looks like it works rather than actually works reminded me that working software is the primary measure of progress. Because of that, I updated my objective to say "To create working software that users want to use and maintainers want to maintain." Even more true and even more to the point. And that's something I care about.

What's your resume objective? Do you actually believe it and try to live up to it?


  1. I leave the objective out and go straight into a list of skills, platforms, languages, frameworks, etc.

    The first thing I want a potential employer to see is "iOS game development in Objective C with Cocos2d" or "Web game development with Flash ActionScript 3", rather than some generic objective.

    Every time I get a resume on my desk to review for a potential candidate I skip the objective. Every time.

    Let's be honest, if I have your resume in my hands, I'll just assume your objective is "To work here." We can figure out the finer points in the interview. ;)

    Ebyan "Nolithius" Alvarez-Buylla

    1. Well that certainly avoids the problem of having a generic objective.

  2. I agree with omitting the objective statement.

    I think summarizing your career goals into a single pretty sentence is an outdated resume standard, and I have to imagine companies don't hire you based on what you want to do.