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Objective Statements: Helpful or Hurtful?

resume writing

I know the title suggests I'll have multiple pros and cons as to what an Objective Statement does for your resume, but the truth is it is almost entirely unhelpful and redundant. When I see objective statements, I can usually accurately guess the resume was created several years ago. And if it is actually recent, that just indicates to me and hiring managers that you aren't up-to-date on creating a resume for 2018.

Why am I so against objective statements? For one, they are supremely outdated. As mentioned above, it is only going to indicate that you either haven't touched your resume in years or haven't bothered to take the time to brush up on newer resume layouts and what they should include. They are also ridiculously repetitive. A hiring manager is going to know what your career objective is by the position you are applying for as well as the job history on your resume. You don't need to spell out, I am looking for a job in retail management...the hiring manager knows this. That's why you've sent in your resume for that particular position. If you have broad reaching, exciting career goals - awesome! Bring them up in the interview if you must. Don't spell it out on your resume. A hiring manager is going to see OBJECTIVE at the top and toss the resume to the side.

Why were objective statements so prevalent and now they are frowned upon? The biggest reason is the appearance of the cover letter. The cover letter is essential to your job hunt, and this document itself renders the objective statement completely useless. Your cover letter explains exactly why your skills and expertise translate into the particular role you are applying to. There's no need to repeat it ad nauseam right there on the resume. You shouldn't be wasting space on an objective statement anyways! I much prefer to see/write a Professional Summary. How is this different? It highlights your strengths as a professional and gives a potential employer a snapshot of your skills and qualifications. It does not, however, go into what your career aspirations are or what type of position you are looking for.

Is an Objective Statement EVER okay? There's always exceptions, and there are with these statements as well. Personally, I avoid them at all costs. However, there are two examples of resumes that could potentially benefit from one, though it would still be redundant if there is an amazing cover letter accompanying the resume! Example One: New Graduate. They do not have extensive work experience, sometimes none at all, only volunteer work or internships. In this scenario, it can make sense to include an objective statement, as the work history does not always indicate what type of work they are looking for. Example Two: Career Change. This scenario also makes sense because if your entire work history is working as an accountant and suddenly you're applying for a job as a machinist, there's some industry jump there that needs to be extrapolated on for the hiring manager. Otherwise they may be a bit lost as to what your goal is or what skill set you will bring from one industry to another.

Avoid the Objective Statement whenever possible. It will get your resume thrown from the top of the heap when the whole point is to get noticed and get that resume seen.

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