Should a resume have an objective statement?

Should a resume have an objective statement?

Here is a question I hear nearly every single day from clients: Should a resume have an objective statement? The short answer is “yes” but I will get to why later.

Many online websites and self-proclaimed resume experts will tell you that objective statements are out-dated, no longer used, or only tell and employer what “you” want vs. what they are looking for. The latter reason is somewhat true to an extent. However, employers still want a candidate who knows what they want out of the job they are expected to perform. Having a clearly defined objective statement shows the reader that you have done your research and took the time to prepare a targeted presentation that focuses on the requirements of the job you are applying for.

Before you jump the gun and start adding a generic sentence at the top of your resume such as “Seeking a challenging position as a Regional Director which will help me…bla bla bla, “ make sure you take the time first to write a compelling summary that shows the employer what “you can provide” them before you mention what “you want” out of the job. Below is an example of how a strong Summary/Objective Statement should appear at the top of your resume, underneath your name and contact information.

“Highly qualified and accomplished Regional Director with extensive leadership experience in the areas of quality in-home senior care, professional nursing, therapy, and respite care services. Adept at coordinating human services activities, recommending solutions to improve processes, and implementing effective programs to streamline business operations. Experienced in the design and implementation of new policies and procedures, as well as maintaining compliance company code of conduct. Currently seeking a position which will utilize 20+ years of experience and areas of expertise as follows:”

Now I will explain why the self-proclaimed experts think you shouldn’t include an objective statement on a resume and then I will debunk their reasoning.

Reason: Objective statements only tell an employer what “you” want, not what the employer needs.

Debunk: Turnover is always a major concern for any employer. The truth is, hiring managers want a candidate who knows what they want out of a job. They are looking for someone who will not leave the job a month from now for a better opportunity. By NOT including an objective statement on your resume, you are not really expressing to the reader that you want that particular job. Yes, you are applying for the job so you must “want” it, right? You would think it’s as simple as that, but as a hiring manager myself, I always look for someone who takes extra time to prepare a resume that conveys the breadth of their background in a few concise sentences followed by a clearly defined objective that tells me they want the job. Also, if your resume is scanned into an applicant tracking system (ATS) database of a large company with many positions available and only includes a list of skills and experience, the computer program will have no idea as to which job in their system you are applying for and you can expect an immediate rejection.

Bottom line is, having an objective statement on a resume will not hinder your chances, but not having one could. Is it really worth the risk to exclude it just because some website or young inexperienced resume writer who thinks he/she knows what hiring managers want said so? If you want to make sure your resume includes a compelling opening statement that will grab the reader’s attention, you might want to seek the help of our resume writing services.

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