Should Your Resumé Have an Objective Statement?


resumeThe standard resumé template usually has all the fields you expect to find on a document that sums up all your employability: there’s work experience, educational background, skills, and “other” skills. Then there’s that big one right underneath where your name goes that says “Objective Statement.” What exactly is an objective statement and why is it there at the top of your resumé? More importantly, do you even need it there?

What is an objective statement?

An objective statement is a short sentence defining your aim in sending along your resumé. It should be lean and to the point. In most cases, it means basically stating the name of the position that you are looking to fill. If you want to be fancier, you could say that you were looking to grow your experience in the field and advance.

Great! So I’ll put one on top of my resumé.

Not so fast. The thing about objective statements is that they are largely not used anymore. Some of the templates that people do still use continue to have an “Objective Statement” field, and that may be why people go out of their way to fill that space. The objective statement is falling out of use because all it does is basically tell the prospective employer exactly what they know—that you want the job they’re offering. They waste space, and distract from more important information, such as your skills.

I get it. No objective statement. What should I include?

Instead of objective statements most resumés will include career profiles instead.

What is a career profile?

Career profiles are a heading that goes on the top of your resumé just like an objective statement. The difference is that instead of stating what you want out of the job, it highlights the things you have to offer a company or employer. It’s the qualities you hope will make you stand out in the stack of applications. In effect, it is like moving the skills section of your resumé all the way to the top combined with a summary of the value you and your experiences will bring to a company.

Well, what does that look like?

Your career profile should look something like this:

Motivated team leader with outstanding interpersonal skills and a competitive work ethic. Four years experience working in hotel management. Speaks both English and Spanish fluently. Excels in customer service settings and is devoted to raising brand awareness. Social media expert.

The shorter the better. Now that you have ditched the objective statement and know how to put together a decent career profile, you are on your way to landing that new position.