Drop Vague Objective Statement From Your Resume

Q.  I’m starting off the new year by updating my resume, but I hear conflicting points of view on whether to include an objective or goal statement.  What are your recommendations for resume updating and inclusion of an objective statement?   -BL

A.  Whether you’re looking for a job or not, this is the perfect time of the year to update your resume. You can reflect on the past year’s accomplishments while they’re top of mind as you review and reset your career goals.

Writing an effective resume objective statement is quite difficult and entirely unnecessary.  Don’t do it.  Most resumes have one objective–to land a job interview.  The purpose of a resume is to sell a hiring manager on your skills and abilities; they’re not interested in pie-in-the-sky career goals. In fact, a resume objective that doesn’t sync up with a prospective job opening could very likely harm your prospects for an interview. Save career goal discussions for your first performance review.

With the considerable time you save on an objective statement, focus on writing a short, specific-to-the-job-opening cover letter.  And make sure your resume focuses on your accomplishments, not just a list of jobs and their boilerplate descriptions.  Several previous posts here discuss resume writing, including one that carries links to simple, clean templates.

2 thoughts on “Drop Vague Objective Statement From Your Resume

  1. My name is Mariah and I am from Southeast Missouri State University. I really enjoyed this article and found it helpful in several ways. While I have over 5 years of job experience I never had much guidance about how to make a “perfect” resume until I started my major of Public Relations. As a student and employee of several different businesses I know people have varying preferences when it comes to resume design and content. Your tip about being able to reflect on this past year’s accomplishments. I think it is so important to include every aspect of your experience because it makes you stand out amongst other applicants. Also, your comment claiming you should save career talk for your first performance review was essential to emphasize how you progress. I agree a short, sweet and to-the-point cover letter is an efficient way to attract your employer because it is easy to read and gets the most important information across. Accomplishments are definitely the key to securing an interview and job opportunity!

    A few questions did come to mind when I was reading this article. What would be considered a higher accomplishment: education or a job-related experience? How would each rank in importance on a resume? Is there a particular design tactic I need to stick with, no matter which employer I present my resume to? Should I switch up my design? With the knowledge that no company is just alike, different tactics may need to be used in order to get their attention. Does this also count for wardrobe choices? Trendier business-casual outfits are becoming more and more accepted and appreciated in the workplace. How can I go about selecting a safe choice every time? I think the most important thing is looking put together and confident. Coming into a room, owning it, and presenting a professionally organized resume will secure an interview every time!

    1. While you are in college, you should use your education as the lead for a resume. After you land your first job, you should stress your work experience and move education to the end of your resume. Keep your resume as simple as possible; no fancy graphics. Regarding appropriate attire for an interview, it is always best to dress conservatively for all interviews–unless you are advised by the organization that they expect you to show up in casual attire. To show your creative flair, you can dress up a conservative outfit with appropriate color in your blouse and accessories–but keep your dress or suit as conservative as possible. Your initial impression, indeed, is criticial to a successful interview. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *