The Resume Objective? I Object!

By JENNIFER SHRYOCK

Case of: The Resume Objective vs. The Professional Profile or Summary

Opening argument: People of the court, I intend to demonstrate that the Resume Objective is outdated, irrelevant, and self-serving. Rather than waste prime resume real estate with an Objective, I propose a Professional Profile, often called a Summary, to present your professional highlights as they will benefit your target employer.

Please direct your attention to the following exhibit as evidence that the Objective is…well, objectionable.

Exhibit A: The Resume Objective

Objective:  To obtain a challenging position with an opportunity to learn and improve my skills.

I move to strike the Objective from the records, to dismiss it on the grounds that it fails to prove your ability to do the job. The Objective fails to present your many qualifications or your awareness of the employer’s needs. In the Objective, the employer is implied only as an answer to the applicant’s needs, rather than the reverse. This can and will be used against you.

At this time, if it pleases the court, I’d like to offer Exhibit B as Evidence.

Exhibit B: The Professional Summary

Marketing Specialist with significant experience in enterprise development, including business strategy formation and execution, marketing planning and budgeting, day to day sales and sales team leadership seeks to contribute skills and results to productive team.

Community Outreach with focus on organizational development, fundraising, communications, and event management.

Highlights:

  • Volunteer of the Year 2010 Really Interesting Association
  • Annual Winner since 2004—Compelling Sales Contests for Micro-market
  • Creator and Planning Chair for Really Interesting Events

May the record reflect that this Professional Summary demonstrates not only your qualifications and previously achieved results, but more importantly, how they will benefit your target employer.  The Professional Profile reflects your awareness of the employer’s needs and your ability to meet those needs and produce real results on their behalf.

I rest my case.

Verdict: We find the Resume Objective Guilty of failing to demonstrate employment value; Guilty of stating the obvious; Guilty of wasting valuable resume space.

The evidence is overwhelming. We find that the Objective is underwhelming.

In summary, I recommend the Summary but object to the Objective.

Do you have resume questions or comments? Please let me know in the comment section below!

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Jennifer Shryock is a resume writer and interview coach with Rainmaker Resumes. Her blog features Missoula job hunting tips, covering everything from the employer perspective to networking ideas to interview-winning resumes to keeping your sense of humor, whether you’re working or working to find work. For answers, send your work related questions to Jennifer@rainmakerresume.com. Make her blog a regular part of your jobsearch.