Why You Don’t Need an Objective Statement on a Resume (and What to Put Instead)

A summary statement on your resume can help you stand out

A summary statement on your resume can help you stand out

Why you don’t need a objective statement on a resume

Space is a precious commodity on a resume and an objective statement takes up a valuable part of it – the top. Objective statements have served in the past as a way to inform the employer of the position you’re interested in and then likely left it up to the potential employer to figure out where and if you’d fit. In short, they make more work for the person sorting through resumes – forcing them to read more and decide if you have the qualifications to do actually do the job as seen in the example below.

OBJECTIVE: Hard-working, organized, and outgoing individual looking for a career opportunity with a forward-thinking company in sales.

While this objective statement is okay, this person has done little to stand out from the other resume submissions they are competing against. In addition, if this resume was submitted through an applicant tracking system, this statement has provided few key words that the system uses to scan and sort through the resumes in order to filter out and pass along the most relevant resumes for the opening.

What to put instead

A summary statement is a great way for experienced professionals to showcase and sell themselves as a potential candidate to the human reading their resume and get picked up by the applicant tracking system as well. The summary uses well-worded and targeted sentences to provide a quick snapshot (read: between 3 to 4 sentences) of your relevant skills and experiences. It’s similar to an objective statement, but provides more detail and is often tailored towards what the employer is seeking. It’s sole purpose is to make it clear how this candidate fits the needs of the employer.

Here’s a summary statement example:

Sales Director with 10+ years of experience leading account teams in startup, rapid-growth, and established companies in the online advertising industry. Expertise at increasing performance and profitability of ads across web, mobile, social, and gaming platforms. Top performer with proven record of exceeding sales targets and driving new and repeat purchases in crowded markets.

This statement makes it very clear what industry the sales director has experience in and gives the person reading their resume a clear picture of what they can bring to the table. Overall, this is a strong statement and one that could be easily tweaked according to each job posting they apply to.

But what I’m a new grad or have very limited experience?

For those with limited experience for a role they’re pursing, a summary can still provide a way to demonstrate to a potential employer how any education, internships, training, or life experience has prepared you for the role you’re seeking.

Here’s an example:

Business and marketing graduate with advertising sales training and internship experience at BAEmedia. Proven skills in research, new business presentation development, CRM tools (Salesforce), online/offline lead generation, cold-calling, and closing. Entrepreneurial drive; top producer for university’s corporate partnership fund raising efforts yielding $325k in one semester alone.

The key here is to take the sum of all of your past experience(s) and show the connection to the employer how these experiences and skills have made you a great candidate to consider, even if you have limited or no real world experience just yet.