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Should I Include An Objective?

Many wonder if the objective is needed when writing a resume. For those of you who just want the answer, it is no. Do not spend one minute longer contemplating this question! Firstly however, please note that this blog was written in the summer of 2012. In 2014 the answer may suddenly be ‘yes’ but for right now it’s not.

Those who just wanted the quick answer have probably already closed this blog and moved on but I have a feeling some of you are still hesitant and wondering, ‘well why not?’ What has changed from a few years ago that now means I don’t need to include one?

The answer is quite simple for why you no longer want to include an objective. It’s because your objective is obvious, should be covered in your cover letter, and is wasting valuable space on your resume. Also, most hiring managers are swamped with resumes because of how competitive the job market is and I can guarantee you most will not pause and read the similar objectives-

Obtain a position as a/an X at XYZ Company where I can do something and get something.

When you think about what the objective is, it is a total waste of space. If you didn’t want to apply for the position at XYZ Company then you wouldn’t, and what you can give them is covered in your cover letter. What you get from them is honestly somewhat irrelevant but if you feel the need to include this, you would also put it in the cover letter. Maybe you are looking to advance and you know that this company has great advancements, you’ll put that in your cover letter as it shows the possible reason you’re leaving your current company/position.

As for taking up important real estate on your resume – because most hiring managers are looking for specific words and information, clouding that with a quick few sentences is unnecessary. We will never know exactly what a hiring manager is looking for because it truly differs by job and industry but in most cases they will look at the following:

  • Current Title, Company, Start and End Date
  • Previous Title, Company, Start and End Date
  • Education

If they are satisfied with what they saw, then they will most likely continue to dig through your certifications (if applicable), roles and responsibilities, and key words that apply to their position.

Objectives are part of the past. When preparing your resume, you no longer create a general resume and only change the objective to the specific job title and company, now you tailor your entire piece for each position. That being the case, you need as much available space on your resume to showcase your skills, and use the cover letter to include what you once did in an objective.

Kerry Gustafson, a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) founded Simply Great Resumes in July of 2012 and has over 9 years’ experience writing professional resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, and LinkedIn profiles. With a working background in Marketing, IT, and Project Management from Fortune 100 to small business, Kerry brings a strong working knowledge and unique perspective to the industry. Skilled at narrowing in on client’s roles and responsibilities, Kerry has a natural ability to change the dreaded resume creation into a fun and awareness-building experience.
  1. Doris Appelbaum Reply
    Employers are not interested in what you want; they are interested in what you bring to their company and how you can be an asset to their workforce.
    • Simply Great Resumes Reply
      Well Said, Doris! Thank you for the comment!
  2. Dana Manciagli Reply
    As a hiring manager of hundreds, NO, I don't read them. It's not about the candidate, it's about finding a fit between a job description and the applicant. How many of the objectives we see say "Looking for a challenging role where I get to work with people and leverage my skills in blah, blah, blah." There are two types of objective statments I see: One that is so broad, they appear to have little passion for anything in particular. The second is so clearly customized to my job that it is equally clear that they wrote it for this application. For many of us who are accountable to "living with" that person after we hire them, the resume is simply a documented chronology of work experience, skills, and accomplishments. When I coach job-seekers, I invite them to do a GREAT cover letter and merge that as the front page of a resume so it is one WORD or PDF document. That is where they can tell a little more of a story. However, most importantly, that is where they punch "why am I the best candidate for you." Great topic.
  3. Simply Great Resumes Reply
    Excellent advice, Dana. Many forget about the importance of the cover letter and equally the ease of using a PDF. The objective is rarely anything notable on a resume and essentially just taking up crucial space. The cover letter is definitely where share more details and crucial to any job search. Thank you for your comment!

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