IT'S ALL FREE! Career Objectives

If you're an RN who's looking for a position as a legal nurse consultant in a law firm, a career objective at the top of your resume makes sense.  A career objective is important for anyone transitioning from one field to another because the objective can provide a powerful statement about skills that can be transferred from the old field to the new one.  The only problem with career objectives written by RNs for LNC positions? Most of the career objectives are worthless to employers.

Here's a typical career objective that I've seen on RN resumes:  Seeking employment in a professional organization that challenges me and has a rewarding environment.

What's wrong with that career objective?  Let me count the ways.

1)  Seeking employment with a professional organization.  This statement is too broad.  If you want to work in a law firm, the career objective should specify that.  If you're one of those RNs who wants to keep all your options open, you're shooting yourself in the foot.  Hiring managers in law firms can tell that you're not really serious about finding a law firm job.  You'll take a position in any type of "professional organization."  If you have access to word processor software, such as Microsoft Word, it's an easy fix to individualize your career objective to identify that you want to work in a law firm.

2) Seeking challenging employment.  The problem with this phrase is that it's what you want.  Law firms aren't particularly interested in what YOU want.  They're interested in what THEY want in a candidate.  Plus, law firms don't know you and don't know what challenges you.

3) Wanting a rewarding environment.  Again, it's all about you.  Law firms really want to know what you can do for them, not the other way around.  And law firms don't know what you consider a "rewarding environment."  Maybe it's respect.  Maybe it's a match to your 401K.  Maybe it's being treated as a valued member of the team.  Maybe it's a high salary.

What's the correct way to write a career objective?  The best way is to write an objective that specifies how your RN skills and abilities will help the law firm.  Here's the career objective that I originally wrote on my resume many years ago:

Seeking a legal nurse consultant position in a law firm that requires comprehensive knowledge of nursing and medical standards, superior analytic skills, and exceptional organizational and communication skills.

Bam!  I didn't have any law firm experience, but that career objective (and the rest of my resume) got me an interview, even though the firm wanted candidates with law firm experience.  The career objective unequivocally told potential employers that I had the traits and skills to function as a high-level LNC.  And the sample work product that I brought with me to the interview landed me the job. 

When crafting a career objective, It also pays to mirror your career objective to the advertised qualifications and requirements, if available.  For example, if the position is full-time and on-site, change your career objective to:  Seeking a full-time on-site legal nurse consultant position in  a law firm that requires...

Individualize the career objective to reflect your unique abilities.  You can do this!

...Katy Jones