Are Objectives objectionable? and other great resume debates

 

THE GREAT DEBATES: Answers to long standing and much discussed questions about resumes over three weeks of posts.

1. One page only, or is two-pager okay? (first week)

2. Chronological vs. Functional formats (last week)

3. Do I need an Objective Statement, or not? (THIS WEEK!)

 

This you know the answer?

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I know!  I know!!!

 

Let me preface this by saying that resumes writers and employers alike have varying opinions and preferences on all three of these questions.  There aren’t really any completely right or wrong answers, just different perspectives.  Here are mine:

 

1. Do I Need an Objective Statement?

 

Arguments FOR Objective Statements:

  • Ÿ  Shows clear intention and focus
  • Ÿ  Can customize the resume

Arguments AGAINST Objective Statements:

  • Repeats information that should be clearly communicated in the cover letter
  • ŸWaste of space for the above reason
  • Outdated approach – the modern version is a Summary & Skills section that focuses on what you bring to the employer, whereas an Objective is usually stating what YOU want

 

It is this resume writer’s strong opinion that Objectives are both outdated and redundant. I’ve never written a resume for a client that used one.

 

There used to be a time when an Objective Statement was mandatory on a resume; however, nowadays, a Summary or Highlights section is often replacing the Objective of yore.

Objectives are redundant to information that should be stated in the first line or two of your cover letter.  Therefore, those 2-3 lines of space on your resume that would be used for the objective and the blank space above & below are much better used to highlight your unique skills, and particularly your accomplishments.

 

Note:  If you choose to include one (against my sincerest wishes), make sure it IS clear and concise, and customer tailored to each job for which you apply.

 

Other timely & important job search tips – highly recommended e-book by Ask a Manager:

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Here’s the other Great Debate questions answered: Chronological vs. Functional & One Page or Two? Oh, what to do?

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