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Do resumes need an objective?

If you’ve ever written a resume, you know how important it is to have a clear and concise written message. You want to convey why you’re the best candidate for a job.

According to The Muse, “The resume objective has been a mainstay of resume templates for a long time, but in today’s job market, using one can do more harm than good.”

In this article, we’ll look at whether or not it’s necessary to include an objective statement on your resume. We’ll also discuss what goes into making a solid professional summary statement—and why it’s essential for highlighting who you are and what makes you special in the eyes of potential employers.

An objective can be generic.

An objective is essentially what you’re looking for in a job. It’s not specific to any one company or position, which means it’s pretty generic. If you have an objective on your resume, it won’t tell employers anything about your skills or abilities—the only thing they know is that you’re looking for a job and interested in something specific (if that).

If you want to stand out from other applicants and show off the best parts of yourself, don’t use an objective section at all.  Instead a well rounded summary section should be used. You want your resume to start with a career summary that highlights who you are and your relevant qualifications for the target role. This may end up being adjusted based on the position you are targeting. Objectives are no longer used, as the summary tells the employer what you can deliver for them rather than what you want from an employer. Think of this as your sales pitch. 

Objectives do little to differentiate job seekers.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the value of including an objective in a resume. Many job seekers think that it’s a necessary part of their job search, and some even believe that it’s a good way to showcase their skills and experience. The truth is: employers don’t care about your objectives, because they’re not looking for generic skills or qualifications. They want concrete information about how you can help them achieve specific goals—and hiring managers won’t get that from an objective alone.

Instead, focus on communicating exactly what you can do (and how) for each employer in your target field. To be successful, your resume needs to demonstrate the following:

  • Your knowledge base matches up with specific positions within the company;
  • Your skill set aligns with what they’re looking for in candidates; and/or
  • You bring something unique or valuable to their team (like an unusual background).

Objectives are old-fashioned and outdated.

If you’ve been considering whether to include an objective on your resume, you’ll be happy to know that the answer is no. Objectives have been eliminated completely from resumes by most recruiters and hiring managers because they are old-fashioned and outdated.

In a time when job seekers have more options than ever before, employers are looking for people who can stand out from the crowd—not those who sound like everyone else’s resume. By including an objective at the top of your document, you’re making it clear that you don’t have unique skills or anything special to offer. Instead of taking this approach, focus on telling a story about how your skillsets align with what their company needs at this time in its growth cycle (or whatever).

Write a summary instead of an objective on your resume.

A summary is a good way to let the employer know what you can do for them. A resume objective is more flexible, but it’s also more vague and broad, so it may not be as helpful in selling yourself to your future employer. A summary should focus on your skills and experience, as well as what you can offer the company. It shows how you add value. 

Your summary should also be changed based on different positions. For example: if you’re applying for an entry-level job at a tech startup that focuses on creative marketing solutions (like making videos), then a line like “Aspiring filmmaker” will sound awesomely relevant here. But if you’re applying for an entry level position at Google or Microsoft? Well… not so much. 

Example of a summary section to show the difference on how these should be crafted: 

Financial Analyst

Detail-oriented Senior Financial Analyst with background leveraging CPA credentials and hands-on experience in quantitative/statistical analysis, budgeting, accounting, and forecasting. Provide robust modeling and reporting to facilitate executive-level decision making. Strong analytical skills; support operations through analysis of key performance indicators and trends. Consensus-driven communicator; liaise across various business units and promote organizational success. Rapidly adapt to new technologies and possess expertise with MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and a broad range of statistical software.

IT Specialist

A self-motivated, well-qualified, and highly regarded Information Technology professional skilled in implementing data protections using disaster recovery tools including Varonis, Tivoli backups, shadow copies, SQL mirroring, DFS replications, and Robocopies. Adept at accurately administering Active Directory and enforcing file security. Capable of maintaining internal and external DNS. Detail-oriented, organized, with a positive attitude. Performs well in high-stress environments, and is skilled in planning and prioritizing assigned tasks. Possesses excellent verbal and written communication abilities. Capable of cultivating and nurturing strategic and tactical relationships. 

Mind you these are only examples and should be crafted for the job targeted and what makes you different from the other applicants. As in, there is not a one summary for everyone and every position.

Remember an objective is overused, outdated and generic. It doesn’t add any value to your resume or show employers how you can help them or their company grow in any way. Instead of writing an objective, use the space to write a summary that describes what makes you different from other job seekers. This way, when employers read through resumes they’ll see how valuable each person could be for their organization. 

If you need help with perfecting the resume to meet your career goals, Contact Us today for a customized approach. 

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