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

  1. “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….

    Like

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

    Like

  3. 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.

    Like

  4. 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.

    Like

  5. 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. 🙂

    Like

  6. @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…)

    Like

  7. 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.

    Like

  8. 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.

    Like

  9. 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.

    Like

  10. 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

    Like

  11. 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.

    Like

  12. @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.

    Like

  13. 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!

    Like

  14. 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

    Like

  15. 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.

    Like

  16. Hello to you all! I'm exited to have become a member of this forum and am looking forward to contributing.

    My interests are wide and varied but I reckon my real passion is for music. I love a wide variety such as
    Faithless, The Smiths, Enigma, The Cure & The Mission.

    I'm always looking for new places to download new music and the best place I have come across is
    [url=http://www.iomoio.com/index.php?pid=3140]Iomoio[/url]. Their music is only 15 cents a track so you can save a real fortune. And it's legal!

    Anyway, looking to make more posts soon…..

    Like

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