Are Objectives Necessary on Resumes

Resume Objectives. Necessary or Not?

In today’s competitive job market, objectives have mostly been replaced by the far more effective Tag Line, which is your professional title or goal, and a Skill Set, which lists your qualifications to fill the job. Each should provide concise and specific data to the hiring manager in terms that emphasize what you can do for the targeted company.

Many times, I’ve encountered clients that insist an objective statement is necessary on their resumes.

“If I don’t use one, the hiring manager or recruiter won’t know what I want,” they often claim. Or, they may state, “How else will I get the job I deserve?”

Resume Expert

For anyone who wants a job, whether it’s the one they’ve dreamed about or a way to make a living, including an objective statement in your resume isn’t the way to get it. Why?

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A Resume Objective Statement Tells the Hiring Manager What You Want

Your dreams, your needs, your desires. Guess what? They couldn’t care less. They don’t have the time to consider an applicant’s aspirations. They want to know – within seven seconds or less – what you can do for their company. Mainly: How are you going to make the company money? How are you going to save the company money? That’s all that matters in the modern economy.

Can you help improve a company’s, bottom line?

In your resume, you need to convey that you’re the perfect candidate for the position. You do that not by having an objective statement of what you want, but by including a strong opening summary that dovetails what you know and can do to the employers’ needs.

Hiring Managers Dismiss Resume Objective Statements 

By using a professional title in the opening of your resume – something like Certified Public Accountant, CEO, Systems Analyst, etc., you will be stating who you are and what you want in terms of your career.

Your tagline can be specific – Telecommunications CEO. Or it can be generic – Accounting Professional.

It might showcase an objective – Candidate: MBA Program; Candidate: First Grade Teacher

Whatever you use, it should be germane to your job search, and you should follow it with your skill set. What is a skill set? Specific qualifications that you have, which are required in the job posting.

As an example, those for an Accountant might include: Accounts Payable/Receivable, Audits, General Ledger, Reconciliations

A teacher might use: Grades K-5, CBEST & MSAT Certified, Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential 

Placing your skill set directly beneath your Tag Line at the beginning of your resume provides the hiring manager with invaluable data.

Use a Resume Objective Statement at Your Own Peril

If you do insist on using one, these are the kind to avoid:

  1. Ones that demand a certain salary (Let’s face it, you haven’t even been called in for an interview. What right do you have to demand anything?)
  2. Ones that address your needs – eg: ‘Seeking an interesting position in the Accounting field with great growth potential’ (Here, you’re telling the hiring manager what you want, not what you can do for the company)
  3. Vague statements that fail to target specific industries or jobs – eg: ‘A full-time position with benefits.’ (The hiring manager might very well ask, doing what?)

Remember, if you make the resume all about you – what you want/need/demand, it’s unlikely you’ll be called in to interview.

If you make it about what you can do for the targeted company, you’re more likely to be seen as a potential candidate.