3 Reasons to Dump Your Resume Objective Statement Right Now

Sep 4, 2020 | Resumes

A title graphic featuring a dramatic black-and-white photo of a woman looking at a man and an alternate version of the article's title: "Tell Your Resume Objective Statement It's Over."

He’s doing nothing for you — time to tell your resume objective statement it’s over. Here’s why you should never have a career objective for your resume, and what to do instead.

By: Katelyn Skye Bennett | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma

I’m a youth career navigator, and today my client needed help constructing her resume. We set up the header, typed in her education and certifications, and made her professional experience beautiful.

What was left? The Objective Statement — I mean, oops — the Summary of Qualifications.

…awkward.

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It’s hard to move on sometimes. Believe me, I get it! The objective statement spent so much time in your life, but honestly, he sucked. You looked miserable with him. But you have the rest of your life before you, and it’s time you made a change.

In case that wasn’t clear, I’ll say it again: you should not have an objective statement on your resume. Instead, replace it with a Summary of Qualifications. There are very few hard-and-fast rules in resume writing, but this is one that pretty much everyone agrees on! No. More. Objective Statements.

And since we’re being straight with each other, I’ll tell you why.

3 Signs Your Resume Objective Has Been Cheating on You and That You Need to Ditch Him:

#1) The objective statement is sooo self-centered.

It focuses entirely on yourself and your career goals rather than on how your skills meet the employer’s needs — which is why the hiring manager is reading your resume to begin with.

A photo of a woman wearing a t-shirt that reads

The objective statement is all about own motivations — but your resume shouldn’t be.

As any job search professional will tell you, listing your personal goals is useless on a resume because the recruiter doesn’t care in their initial scan. You’re applying, so they know you want the job — what they care about is what you can do for them. They’re vetting up to hundreds of candidates for this job, so your resume should be focused on showing how your skills meet the job description.

Yes, enthusiasm for the position is important — but you’re not going to convey that with some generic words on the resume that everyone else uses. That’s conveyed in your communications with the hiring staff and in the interview.

Here are some amusing examples to give evidence to the faulty self-centeredness of the OS.

#2) He’s stuck in a bad habit and isn’t adding any value to your life.

I screen Indeed resumes in search of new clients, and the objective statements on those are all the same. They appear pre-made through the site and add zero value to the resume. 

“To obtain a position in a stimulating and challenging environment where I can utilize my transferable skills and professional experience to help the company succeed while providing me the opportunity to advance within the organization.”

What does that even mean? It uses some big words but comes across as generic, obvious, and essentially as jargon. 

To build a career in a growing organization where I can get the opportunity to prove my abilities.”

Yes, just like literally everyone else.

“Seeking a challenging position where I can grow in blahblahblah…”

They all read the same because it’s really hard to write a sincere statement of your goals that adds value, especially with such little space.

Hey, we’ve all been there, and we didn’t know any better. But now we do. In fact, it’s my job to help my clients learn how, and I’m honored to sit here with you now.

But let’s pause for a moment. I see you hesitating. It’s a big step, breaking up with him. It’s okay to think this through.

Just remember that even if you do write a compelling objective statement, a recruiter will likely still skip over it. You can go into detail about the personal reasons why you want the job in the interview; keep your resume concise and hyper-relevant.

#3) You deserve better.

Look at you — your accomplishments, your qualifications, your skills and education. You are a gem, and any employer would want you. But you’re hiding your best qualities by letting the lousy old objective statement overshadow your resume.

The top third of your resume is crucial since it’s the first place employers’ eyes hit when they’re scanning application after application. That’s why we focus our resumes to include only the most relevant information for that job — and why we place the best of that content up top.  

Use everything at the top to make an exceptionally strong case for your biggest qualifications before the recruiter loses interest. An objective won’t impress them, but a summary will.

The Summary of Qualifications would be great for you

Who is this person, the Summary of Qualifications (SoQ)? They rock, and you two are so compatible. 

A photo of a man and woman walking happily together, representing that the Summary of Qualifications is a better choice than a resume objective statement.

You would soooo much better off with a Summary of Qualifications, I’m telling you!

They start with your biggest accomplishments and most key skills — the cross-section of your education and experience that glimmers. Then they take that, summarize it cohesively and concisely in a couple sentences, and dazzle the recruiter. Rather than boring them with something obvious or irrelevant, good ol’ SoQ will make a charming first impression and encourage the recruiter to learn more about you.

You can get to know SoQ better on their profile here. (You can find them on this platform too, sporting a variety of looks — err, examples — for different careers.) My girl right here can set you up.

Hey, maybe you want to stay single. Depending on the height of your professional experience, skills, and accomplishments, that can work for now. But I think you’ll really like the Summary of Qualifications.

Just remember that you deserve more. Repeat after me: no more objective statements. Ditch the OS. He did you wrong, and you’re moving on… to the Summary of Qualifications.

If you need any more help building your resume, connect with the friendly faces here at Let’s Eat, Grandma! We’re always here for you.

Wondering if your resume can compete with the best of them? Schedule a call with us to find out how our trained writers can help rework your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.

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