Does your resume need an objective?

Does your resume need an objective?

A resume gets your foot in the door when applying for a job. An objective statement, however, might just slam that door on your foot. The objective statement bolsters the word count on a resume but it does not do much other than that. They're often quite dull, vague, and self-centered.

Job-seekers aim to land the job that they applied for. On the other hand, employers need to screen out potential candidates from the thousands of resumes that end up on their inbox. Back when the internet was in its infancy, applicants either handed in a physical copy of their resume or mailed a hard copy. The objective statement made it easier to determine which role an applicant was applying for. However, nowadays most applications are submitted online, which means that the objective statement has outlived its purpose.

Objective statements often paraphrase the same thing. They tell the employer that the applicant wants the job that they applied for. He already knows this and will skip through the entire section. This means the first few lines of the resume might as well end up in the bin. In addition, the objective statement does not highlight your skills or expertise. It does not tell the employer what you are bringing to the table. So it fails to convince the employer to spend a few extra minutes on the rest of the resume. In fact, it might deter potential employers since most consider the use of objective statements old-fashioned.

To the employer, an objective statement is unnecessary. It focuses on what the applicant has to gain and blatantly ignores the needs of the company. First impressions can make or break a negotiation. The objective statement takes up precious real estate in the most important part of a resume, but it is essentially useless. Instead, the top part of a resume should include a career summary.

A career summary achieves everything an objective statement fails to do. Firstly, it summarises and sells an individual's skills and qualifications. It is a snapshot of relevant experiences and skillsets. Second of all, it helps potential employers gauge the competence of an applicant. Finally, it streamlines the process of selecting candidates for the employer.

Objective statements can easily be replaced by a career summary. By removing the focus of the resume from the benefits an applicant gains to the insights and expertise he can provide, the career summary boosts an applicant's chances of getting employed. As such, the objective statement has lost its place to a worthy adversary.