Resume Objectives Are Rarely Helpful


Continuing to cite resume and cover-letter aspects of Alison Green’s excellent slideshow-style article on what hiring managers really want — in which each slide represents an article she’s written in the past: “Your résumé gets tossed when it lists an objective totally unrelated to the position I have open,” Green writes. “Really, just get rid of the objective altogether. It rarely helps, often hurts, and always takes up valuable real estate that could be better used to showcase your accomplishments. If you want to talk about your career objective and how this position fits it, use the cover letter for that.” Objective statements have become unfashionable with hiring decision-makers, and we can attribute their demise to their being usually poorly done — to vague to be useful, self-serving, or, as Green points out, not tailored to the targeted position. The function objectives are intended to fill — giving your resume a sharp focus — is still important, though, so do what you can to sharpen your resume’s focus, such as through:
  • A “headline” naming the job you’re targeting, which could be accompanied with a branding statement.
  • A targeted profile Profile/Qualifications Summary.
  • Targeted keywords.
Green’s full article that discusses objectives (and five other reasons she tosses resumes in the trash) is here.