What Happened to Resume Objectives (and Why Summary Statements are the New Norm)

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Ask five people to review your resume, and you’ll get five different views on what should and should not be there. Yet most (if not all) of them might agree you shouldn’t include a resume objective statement. In fact, you’ve probably heard or read about it as you prepare your own resume copy for your job search.

Let’s get one thing out of the away: You do not need an ‘Objective’ section on your resume anymore, especially in today’s job market. Both resume experts and employers frown upon the idea of how much space this section would occupy on your resume without even making the overall document stand out more. In this article, we’ll discuss why a resume objective statement is considered obsolete, and what makes its replacement a better section for your resume.

The Death of Resume Objectives 

As a trend that ever evolves, resume writing has seen changes in terms of standards and general conventions. Here, in brief, are three reasons why the resume objective statement has gone out of style.

1. Recruiters care about what you’ve done in your career and less about what you’ll still do. 

Objectives are a way of saying, “Hey, here’s what I want to do next.” While it’s great, a recruiter won’t select applicants based on their wants. If you’ve been job hunting for a while, we’re sure you’ve noticed this, too.

2. Your objective might not clearly show your readers your value offer. 

This is one of the most glaring problems with a resume objective: It usually reads more like duplicate information. Yes, your resume already gives off impression that you’re looking for a job, so there’s no need to state what you want again.

3. A resume objective statement acts as filler and may dilute your experience. 

In line with the first and second reasons, objectives distract the recruiters from what they care about: what you can contribute to the company as the newest addition to their team. What’s more, since it doesn’t zone in on your value offer, this section might steer your reader’s focus away instead of drawing them in to dig further into your work history.

Whereas resume experts consider the resume objective as outdated, they recommend including a section in its stead that would address its weaknesses.

So, let’s talk about resume summaries.

Resume Objective is Out, Resume Summary is In 

As resume experts suggest to ‘retire’ objectives in favor of summaries, let’s see why the latter has become the norm in resume writing. Despite being placed at the same part of one’s resume, the differences between the two sections are night and day, from the tone to the focus of the section.

Also referred to as career summary, qualifications profile, or summary profile; a resume summary is a short statement that highlights your core skills and experience to grab the hiring manager’s attention. From the term itself, the section is a summary of your credentials, the contents of which coming from other sections of your resume. These sections include your notable career highlights, areas of expertise, licenses and certifications, technical acumen, and language proficiency. These are your value offer, your greatest suit and winning traits as a job seeker. Think of it as a short elevator pitch to your reader: Crisp, direct, easy to remember, a total standout.

Comparing Resume Objective Statement and Resume Summary 

Let’s take a look at an example below to see the difference between the two sections. Let’s suppose that the applicant is looking to land the job of a digital marketing manager position. During the olden days where the ‘Objective’ section used to be the norm, the resume would begin like this:

Resume Objective Statement Sample

Yes, it’s short, but is it sweet? Does it really drive home the point that the job seeker deserves to be the hiring manager’s last reviewed application for the post? No. In fact, going back to our three points above reinforces that this section:

  • Merely restated the obvious;
  • Didn’t focus on the applicant’s value offer; and
  • Might have distracted the reader’s attention.

Now, let’s present the same application, only this time we’ll be using a resume summary. The job seeker’s document should read something like this:

Resume Summary Sample

See the immediate difference at a glance? Although it might seem lengthier, resume summaries actually help job seekers present their credentials better. This is because the section aims to impress hiring managers with an overview of your resume. Like what we’ve said before, this serves as an applicant’s elevator pitch, and thus the strongest selling points must be present here.

Do you want to know more on how to write a perfect resume summary? We’ve listed on one of our previous articles helpful tips on writing resume summaries, as well as a few more examples to get you going.

What Hiring Managers Say About a Resume Objective Statement

Ultimately, there’s a lot left to be desired with generic resume objectives. Remember: Your goal is to impress right away, and not to confuse so as to leave more questions unanswered.

Unlike a resume summary, an ‘Objective’ section does not explain why you’re the best person for the job. In addition, recruiters want to read your resume with prepared answers, akin to the “this is what I can do to help your company” introduction. Objective statements don’t do that, but summary statements do.

Finally, objectives lack the action-oriented verbiage resume summaries use, thanks to the skills and expertise along with career highlights presented in a summarized manner. This stark difference in tone gives the impression that you’re a go-getter, someone who knows their role—and delivers accordingly.

Know the Latest Resume Trends: Hire the Best Resume Writing Service Today 

Recruiters hire based on skills and work experience and not on the applicant’s goals; hence, their preference for summary statements over resume objectives. Sure, some of them wouldn’t mind seeing a resume objective. But the job seeker must not expect a garden of roses in return. On the other hand, writing a qualifications profile is something you can easily pull off. You can do this by highlighting your specific and quantifiable skills and experiences. Doing so helps you leave a strong impression on hiring managers.

That said, if you’re not sure what to include, you can always seek professional advice. Our career experts at Resume Professional Writers provide the best resume writing services that will fit your needs and budget. Contact us to know more!

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