Resume Death by Objective Statement

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One of the reasons job seekers dislike writing resumes is because they dread writing an objective statement.  Job seekers worry that the statement will be too specific or too broad.   So, what do most job seekers write as an objective statement? Most sound just like this: “Seeking a challenging position that will utilize my skills and abilities and give me the experience I need for a future career.”   Frankly, this type of statement is a waste of precious resume real estate.

My advice, delete that meaningless objective statement.  Objective statements focus on what the job seeker wants.  The job search by its very nature is about marketing your services to a company in need of someone with your specific skills and abilities.  The first thing to do when you create your personal marketing campaign is to determine your unique value proposition.  Once you have identified your value proposition, the next step is to create a complete marketing portfolio with your value proposition as the continual message.  This is what creates your personal brand.

Your resume is a snapshot of your personal brand that communicates what you have to offer to prospective employers.  Have you ever seen a marketing document that focuses on what the seller wants?  Absolutely not!  Effective marketing focuses on what the buyer needs and wants.  The employer is the buyer that has outlined their needs for a certain position.  Every word on a resume must promote the value that a potential employee can bring to the position and employer.

Objective statements have no place on a resume because they don’t market the features and benefits of hiring you, the candidate.  A buyer-focused resume opens with a profile statement that summarizes the value you bring to an organization.  Instead of an objective statement, write a profile of your skills or a summary of your qualifications.  Profile or summary statements communicate the value or solution you bring to the equation.  They’re employer-focused statements designed to grab the attention of hiring managers.

Employers want to know what types of positions you are seeking, and a well-written skills profile will promote the value you bring to the employer while at the same time communicating exactly what position or career path you are seeking.  For example, a well-written skills profile might read “Financial professional with nine years of experience in valuations, financial modeling and analysis.”

The next time you start to write an objective statement, stop and write an introduction to your resume that is something that the employer wants to read.  Ask yourself, what does the employer need from an ideal job candidate?  Do not let a traditional and meaningless objective statement kill your resume.


6 thoughts on “Resume Death by Objective Statement

  1. Pingback: Resume Death by Objective Statement « Career Management: Keepin … | How to Write a Resume for a Job

  2. Laura James

    Hi Cindy,

    I love your blog, and I want to introduce you to Inside Jobs (, a new career exploration website that I think you will be impressed with. We’d be a great resource for your readers and would love to be featured on your blog—our goal is to be far more extensive than any other career resource, and we have a good start down that path.

    I’ve included a brief summary of our site below. I’d love to send you more information about the site and chat about a blog feature, interview etc. if you’re interested. Please let me know.

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    Laura James
    Head of Content
    Inside Jobs: Career Day Every Day

    In a brief overview of our Inside Jobs, we’ve written thousands of job descriptions to help people figure out what they want to do in their career. We’ve broken down jargon so the descriptions are fun to read and include salary ranges, work environment information, and a “how to become” section that talks about education and training needed to enter a job.

    We’re also adding interactive media components to our descriptions, so you can watch informational interviews, and hear from people in the field about what really think about their position. Finally, we have tracked resumes and job posting to figure out which jobs most commonly precede and follow a given position, so that users can examine common career trajectories in a field.

  3. Crystal

    I love this idea- however, what would you title that portion of the resume? Where “OBJECTIVE” would go, would you insert “PROFILE” or “SUMMARY OF SKILLS,” or what?

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