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Object to the Objective

Updated: Mar 8, 2020

Statement, that is.

One of the most outdated pieces of information you can place on your resume is an objective. Objectives used to be the standard of a typical resume, but times change. Objective statements tend to read as all about what you want, rather than you can offer the employer. Here are some of the reasons you should object to the objective:

  1. Poorly Done: Often, potential candidates end up writing statements that are unfocused, vague, and self-serving. Poorly done objectives look like: “I am seeking a challenging position with a technologically savvy, team-based organization that will allow me to demonstrate my skills and provide a rewarding experience.” These kinds of statements tell the recruiter nothing about your skill set and may actually work against your attempts at positive impression management.

  2. Positioning Fail: Too specific and too vague statements can poorly position your candidacy for a job. With an unfocused objective statement, you can actually be knocked out of the running completely. Because of the sheer volume of resumes submitted during a hiring period, some hiring managers are relying on word matching technology as a means of weeding out candidates. Objective statements that fail the algorithm can be rejected without a recruiter even looking at the resume. On the flip side, a too-specific objective statement can indicate a poor match to the recruiter who feels that they are not offering a position along the lines of what you are looking for.

  3. Space Waster: Novice resume writers will write a short paragraph for the objective statement and often, the recruiter will skip over the paragraph because there is no aesthetic merit. Bullet points catch the eye, paragraphs seem like the candidate couldn’t be concise.

So what SHOULD you do?

Discuss the reasons why a particular position fits your career trajectory in the cover letter. The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself as a candidate as well as discussing what you are seeking and what you can offer in employment. You have limited space in the resume to highlight your achievements—make the most of the space and object to the objective.

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