Resume Objectives: Do You Still Need Them?


For many years, the objective was a standard part of the resume. Listed front and center, it communicated to a potential employer why a candidate was applying.

Fast forward to today and objectives aren’t always necessary. Here’s why:

  • Hiring managers know why you’re applying for the job – because you want it.
  • Objectives also waste a lot of prime space on your resume.
  • Stating that you want to “obtain a full-time opportunity that utilizes my experience and strengths” says nothing about who you are as a candidate and what you can offer.
  • Nor does it help you stand out in any way among a sea of other candidates with similar objectives at the tops of their resumes.

Instead, most experts recommend using a summary of qualifications. So what should yours look like? It should be around five to six bullets and focus on your most impressive achievements and relevant strengths.

Before you write your summary, it’s important to keep in mind it should be customized to each employer you’re applying to. That’s why it’s important to review the job description and think through how your background matches it. If you’re having a hard time coming up with a good list, here are a few idea starters:

  • Talk about the number of years of experience you have and any major skill sets.
  • Offer an example of a project or initiative you spearheaded, or a problem you solved for a past employer.
  • Demonstrate how you’ve made a bottom line impact in past roles, whether you made money, saved money, or made a process more efficient.
  • Showcase any important awards or career accomplishments you’re especially proud of.
  • Discuss your communication skills and ability to successfully interact with, manage or persuade others.

So when should you use a resume objective?

One scenario in which it can be helpful is if you’re changing careers and don’t have any or a lot of experience. Without an objective, a hiring manager might wonder why you’re applying for the job after scanning your resume. But an objective statement can make it clear to potential employers that you’re making a change and also point out any important transferable skills.

For instance, you can write something like:

“Accomplished office manager seeking to leverage 10 years of recruiting, vendor relations, and customer service experience into an entry-level marketing position. Motivated career changer, eager to contribute to the company’s bottom line.”

Hiring managers only take a few seconds to review resumes that come across your desk. That’s why you can’t just send them a boilerplate one. Follow the tips above for creating a stand-out summary of qualifications or objective statement – and get noticed by the hiring manager.

Need more help with your resume, so you can put your best foot forward?

Call PrideStaff. As one of Tempe’s top employment agencies, we can help you craft the perfect cover letter and resume, as well as connect you with rewarding jobs and leading employers in and around the city. Just contact us today to learn more.