The Objective Statement On A Resume – What’s Its Purpose?

Summary: Some employers still like to see an objective statement on a resume. But to get the most value out of it, it needs to do more than simply say what job you are looking for.

Here’s a position you may find yourself in as you prepare a new job application.

You’ve been reading a free example of a resume online and encounter conflicting advice about the right format to use – for example, is an objective statement on a resume a good idea or would it be better to use a skills summary?

Employers and recruitment professionals often have varying opinions when it comes to the value of the objective statement on a resume. And it’s a section that carries great importance because it comes near the beginning and naturally draws the eye. If you have only a few seconds to convince your reader that you’re worth shortlisting for an interview, it’s vital to make the right impression here.

In its simplest form, the objective statement indicates what the job applicant is seeking, for example: ‘A challenging management position in market research’ or ‘To work in a successful real estate company’.

The problem with plain headings such as these is that they only tell the reader what the applicant wants — and they fail to answer the all-important question that’s on the mind of every employer needing to fill a vacancy: ‘What can this person do for me?’

That’s why objective statements are regarded as old-fashioned in some quarters. Many advisers now recommend using a skills summary or profile statement as a much more effective way of showing what value you can bring to a position.

Does that mean that an objective is no longer of any value? Not necessarily. Some employers like to see it because it states a clear and focussed career intention — and sometimes, maybe, because they’re used to seeing it and simply expect the objective to be there!

But if you do decide that you’ll use an objective in your resume, it’s perhaps a good idea to be creative and try to combine the best features of both styles. Don’t forget to state clearly what benefits you can offer the employer — and then back up those claims in the main section with appropriate evidence.

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