Career Advice

Resume Summary Statements vs. Objective Statements

What is a Summary Statement?

A summary statement on a resume is a short paragraph, generally 3 to 5 sentences long, that summarizes your background and shows a potential employer how your experience and skills will contribute to their company.

What is an Objective Statement?

An objective statement on a resume is a one-line sentence that tells the reader what you want to do with your career and does not convey how you will actually contribute to their open positions.

Hybrid Summary Statement

At Careers Plus Resumes, we use what we like to call “Hybrid Summaries” which include both a powerful summary statement and an objective line. The purpose of this is to show the hiring manager that you not only meet the qualifications for their job in the summary, but also to demonstrate that you are specifically targeting their position which carries a lot of weight. Employers love to see someone who has their career figured out and want to minimize the risk of employee turnover, so they want to make sure their job is exactly what you want to do. It also helps with the ATS (applicant tracking systems) because these systems scan your resume against open positions that include the job title employers are hiring for.

How to Write a Good Summary Statement

Your summary statement is the very first thing after your contact information that the employer should see, so you need to make sure you are making a strong first impression in this section of the resume. Start off with some words such as “versatile, dedicated, results-driven, collaborative, etc.” to demonstrate key skills the employer may be looking for in a candidate. Avoid over-embellishing your skills and sounding too arrogant, as that can be a potential turn off. Confidence is a good thing, but overly confident can come across as too pushy – and employers like to be in control of the situation. Follow through with a few more short sentences describing some of your character attributes and possibly some notable accomplishments. Then, end with the objective statement, showing the employer that you are after that specific job.