Resume Tip: Objective Section

Resume Tip: Objective Section

It is very common to include an objective at the beginning of a resume. Some people think that the objectives section is an important part of a resume and it’s the first thing employers looks at. Well those some people are wrong.

Best Foot Forward

It is pretty clear that it is in your best interest to have a well written resume. It is the first contact you have with a potential employer. You need to market your skills and experience in such a way so companies can easily understand that they should hire you.

If you are thinking about getting a professionally written resume, now would be a good time. I can show you how your skills and experience when written well is enough to land you the interview.

Your resume is the first and possibly last chance you have to persuade an employer to give you an interview. Your resume needs to be compelling enough that it leaves recruiters no other choice but to invite you to an interview.

What Is An Objective?

An objective basically highlights your career ambitions and states the type of job you are seeking.

There are two reasons why objectives don’t work and people should stop having then on their resumes.

  1. An objective states the job you want. recruiters and companies don’t care or are interested in what you want.
  2. Most recruiters take about 15-20 seconds to go through a resume and decide whether it’s good to keep or trash. Most objectives are so poorly written that recruiters all together don’t even read that section.

Some people have even told me that they would spend hours and hours trying to formulate what they think would be a fantastic objective.
Since recruiters don’t read that section why not focus on something else like highlighting your accomplishments with a ‘Summary of Experience’ or ‘Highlights’ section.


Here are some examples of common objectives that do not get read:

  • To obtain a position as a teacher with possibility for growth to become a principal.
  • Administrative Assistant for a large teaching hospital.
  • To obtain a position in Food and Beverage which will utilize my knowledge and experience.

Bad Objectives Can Disqualify You

These objectives are short and sweet but they may be taking you out of the running. If you have a specific objective for example to obtain a managerial position, a recruiter may trash your resume if they were looking for some other position.

An objective should not be used if you want to be more general and leave your options open. Being vague can even be worse so your better off skipping this section. If you have a badly written objective a recruiter may just decide on that alone not to move on and read more. The sad part is you may have the skills for the job but your horrible objective section disqualified you.

Replacing The Objective Section

A better way to show your career ambitions is by using a ‘Summary of Experience’ or ‘Highlights’ section. This section is where you can briefly point out your skills and and accomplishments.

This section really focuses on what you can do for the employer. This is way better than having an objective and listing what you want. Employers love to see resumes that are focused and have proven goals that were accomplished. It only takes 3 to 4 points that can really catch a recruiters eye and land you the interview.

Having an objective can also date you. It’s something people were told to have years ago. Its almost as bad as stating your age and marital status…almost. To look current and really have a resume that stands out you need to highlight your accomplishments. Recruiters can easily then see what you have done and that you can really be a benefit to the company.

Photo by: Phil Shatz

3 thoughts on “Resume Tip: Objective Section

  1. Cindy
    February 6, 2012 at 6:47 am

    A highlights section at the beginning of a resume is a great idea (I too am tired of seeing the vague and useless OBJ statements). I can see how this type of accomplishment list can work for somebody in sales or management. However, what if you’ve never really been in a position that accomplishes impressive goals? You’ve never “increased sales by 20%”, nor “improved overall productivity”, or any of these quantitative goals. All you’ve ever done is do a great job, and get the tasks done that were assigned to you in an accurate and timely manner? Maybe you’ve merely exceeded your employers expectations a few times (in the case of an admin assistant). Perhaps the positions you’ve held in the past did not allow for any extra performance or decision making? What sort of statement would wow a recruiter?

    1. February 6, 2012 at 7:20 am

      Hi Cindy,
      A profile/bio or highlights section should include highlighting your education -BA, B.Sc. or even relative certificates, how many years of experience you have in the field, how many volunteer hours you have worked (if relevant), why you are passionate about your career choice and what your career goals are. It should highlight skills that are considered an asset for the job you are interested in. You need to take a real good look at your job/career and think about why you have chosen this job. Why do you like it? What areas do you enjoy? etc. As a professional recruiter I see a lot of people have difficulty with this. People either don’t like talking about themselves or don’t see what makes them special. Getting a second opinion and working with a recruiter/career coach can help you find the words you’re looking for. Hope that helps.

  2. February 22, 2012 at 7:26 am

    This is exactly what I tell everybody that wants me to review their resume. Down with the Objective section!