“You should ditch the objective statement on your resume”. “Objective statements are outdated”. You’ll see statements like these littered across career websites. Traditionally, a career objective or objective statement section served as an introduction to your resume. Nowadays, it’s considered old-fashion to include one.
While there are calls to kill it off completely, the objective statement still has some relevance in the modern world. In fact, there are certain situations that calls for it.
“If you’ve still got an objective section underneath your header, dump it,” according to Time magazine’s guide to writing a resume for 2017. “You want to show what you can do for an employer, not what they can do for you, says Sam Nolan, a professional resume writer and the blogger behind the career advice column Dear Sam.”
This is a sentiment echoed by other career experts.
I put an objective statement on my very first resume and at the time I didn’t really understand why; I did it because a lot of sample resumes included one. But in recent years there has been a backlash against objective statements. Many see the statement as redundant and makes the job seeker look amateurish.
It’s understandable. More often than not you’ll see objective statements like “To further my skill in X industry”. No shit, Sherlock. Perfunctory statements don’t give recruiters any insight on applicants and may even do more harm than good.
“The easiest way to explain this is that an objective statement might ‘pigeonhole’ you into a certain type of position,” Wes Pearce, a professional resume writer said on Quora. “Your objective statement is all about you… but the hiring manager reviewing your resume is more concerned about how you fit the job description she’s hiring for. So, if your objective statement doesn’t meet what she’s looking for, you may very well get looked over.”
By now you’ve probably got your resume opened and your objective statement highlighted as your finger hovers over the backspace key.
But before you delete it, consider this: the objective statement still has a purposes. It really depends on your situation.
MIT career development specialist Lily Zhang believes that if you’re making a huge career change, then the objective statement is a valuable tool you can use to sell yourself. She said on The Muse:
“Think about it. If you have, say, five years of experience in business development and you’re now interested in marketing, your resume probably isn’t selling you as the best candidate for the gigs you’re applying to. In this case, you could definitely benefit from having an objective statement to clearly explain that you’re making the switch and show how your skill set aligns with this new career path. It might even be confusing if you don’t use an objective statement if your experience doesn’t line up cleanly with the position you’re applying for.”
Having said that, your objective statement should be well thought out. According to The Interview Guys:
“[I]t’s not a generic cry to hire you, it’s a very specific, very targeted way to point to yourself and say ‘Hey, why waste your time with all these other resumes when what you’re looking for is right here in front of you?’ It’s a quick summary of where you’ve been so far in your career and also where you want to go with the company you are applying.”
If you are to include an objective statement in your resume, be specific about what you want to achieve and avoid generic claims like “I am seeking employment with a company where I can use my talents and skills to grow and expand the company”.
What are your views on career objective statements? Let us know in the comments.