Sadly, I suspect many of us have been on the receiving end of that famous phrase “It’s not you, it’s me”.  And I suspect that this phrase has been uttered to disclose the end of some sort of relationship. 

Not pleasant at all.

Now imagine if a potential employer were to say that to you.  Would it be as off putting as the same utterance at the end of a relationship?  Our immediate reaction might be a resounding “YES”. 

But not so fast.

I believe more potential employers should be telling potential candidates this very phrase.  Allow me to explain.

As an owner of a business that employs several people, I am on the lookout for those candidates who are going to make my business shine.  I am burdened with problems and issues running my business and hire people to help make those problems and issues go away.  That is my number one concern and priority.  Everything else is secondary.

So imagine how I feel when I receive a resume from someone that has an objective stated right at the top.  Unless it says “My objective is to make your life way simpler” (it rarely does say that, by the way) then the objective is about the candidate and what they hope to get out of the relationship.  It is kind of like going into a car dealership to buy a car and the sales rep tells you they are gunning for the monthly sales record.  Frankly, I don’t care.  Tell me how you are going to make my problems go away.  Tell me how my life is going to be better off. 

Imagine how I feel when an interviewee is totally focused on their own gain.  Sure they tell me great stories about all of the wonderful things they have done in the past but they never link it to the issues I am facing.  I would love to hear a candidate say “…and I can apply the same results to help your organization”.  Magic (again, rarely spoken by most candidates.)

And finally, stop asking me for a “job” or “an opportunity”.  As soon as I hear that, I instantly think of “cost”.  If I remember my accounting classes correctly, Profit =Revenue – Cost.  In other words, I think about how my profit is about to take a hit.  I’d rather someone tell me how their skills, experience and knowledge are going to help make my problems go away and make my life better.

In other words, It’s not (about) you, It’s about me.