Home Career Services Should We Really Despise Objective Statements?

Should We Really Despise Objective Statements?

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By Jaymie Pompeo
Contributor, Career Servicesresume-10-itemstoremove

Most career advice nowadays will imply that putting an objective statement on your resume is a cardinal sin. For the longest time, even I jumped the bandwagon and preached the sermon on “thou shalt not use an objective statement.” Let’s be honest – when used, objectives tend to focus on the job seeker’s personal satisfaction versus what really should be promoted: how he or she fits the needs of the current opportunity. It’s no wonder they have such a bad reputation.

Objective statements are deemed as self-serving, vague, or narrow-minded statements that are a waste of precious space on top of your resume. It makes sense when you see generic objectives with no personality, like these:

  • “To obtain a challenging position where my education and skills can be applied towards growth and advancement.”
  • “I am seeking a job that maximizes my skills and abilities while fulfilling my passion for nursing.”
  • “To apply my skills and education as a Network Administrator.”

Objective statements have been replaced with professional summaries that provide an introductory glimpse of your personal brand. Even though I can sing the praises of this method, I question its effectiveness for some applicants. For instance, is a summary the right approach for a recent graduate without experience? What about a candidate with strong competencies in one industry but who wants to change career paths and applied for a completely different field – would an employer question their intentions if they aren’t clearly stated within the resume?

Depending on the situation, a well-crafted objective statement can be invaluable in making the connection between your goals and the needs of a potential employer. Here are a few examples on objective statements that work:

  • “Experienced financial controller with over 15 years’ experience seeking to increase corporate productivity and profitability by thoroughly analyzing and forecasting cost variances.”
  • “To work in the position of an Audio Technician, so that I may use my experience with digital signal processors, audio amplifiers and speaker systems to work with the most advanced professional audio equipment in the field.”
  • “Honors graduate of Adelphi University’s speech communication program seeking a position in training and development. Offer hands-on experience in classroom teaching, corporate training, and communication research.”

Before you vow to never use an objective statement, remember that they can make an impact in the right situation. Research the opportunity and identify your unique characteristics that make you a perfect match for the position. Sometimes this direct approach can help bring clarity to your intentions when you are targeting a specific job, especially if it’s unique and well-written. Now, that’s an objective that never goes out of style!

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