To Do, Or Not To Do: Resume Objective Statements

Now that an increasing number of companies specifically request that applicants not include cover letters with their online applications, I’m revising my anti objective position when applying for such jobs. My new recommendation: Include an objective or career summary if only resumes are requested. However, if cover letters are required, do not include an objective on your resume.

I’ve only read a few really good objective statements over the past several decades. Most state the obvious and portray applicants as being more capable than the rest of their resumes support. Such objective statements raise more questions than necessary, so just stick to the resume basics–education, experience and extra-curricular activities.

Professional resume writer Susan Ireland offers 89 examples of objective statements, all are concise and to the point.  Susan insists, “No extra fluff like ‘looking for a challenging position’ or ‘seeking a position in a growth-oriented company’ or ‘utilizing my skills and experience to advance my career’.”

Career summaries fall into the same category. Some are downright silly overstatements of actual capabilities, so I encourage applicants to avoid using them when cover letters give you more room to better make the same points. If you feel compelled to use a career summary, follow Susan Ireland’s 12 examples–short and sweet.


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