Resume Tip: Ditch The Objective Section

One of the most divisive things I’ve seen when it comes to advice on a resume is whether or not to have an objective section.

I used to be on the side that said Yes.  In fact, until about a year ago, I included it on my resume, which means that I was hired into my current job with the objective section intact.

But, I’ve since changed my mind.

I think having an Objective is nice but I don’t think it’s necessary.  I bet if you interviewed 100 HR representatives and hiring managers, none would tell you that they decided on a hire because of a great Objective section.

It also boils down to real estate.  One of the more common pieces of advice I’ve heard is to keep your resume short.  One page or two pages seem to cover most recommendations as far as that goes.  That space can get consumed pretty quickly.  If you’re including an Objective that is, say, five lines of text, that means that there are five lines you’re having to keep out somewhere else.

Could you omit a key duty that someone might be looking for?  Could you shorten an accomplishment so much that it gets overlooked?  Could you knock off a certification from the list that might make you stand out?  To me, the tradeoffs of an Objective section simply are not worth it once you have developed enough skills and had enough accomplishments.

What do you think?  If you’re currently keeping your resume up to date, do you have an Objectives section?

9 thoughts on “Resume Tip: Ditch The Objective Section”

  1. I completely agree. I ditched the objective a long time ago since no one seems to require or expect it and I found it really limiting to have it front and center on my resume.

  2. This kind of thing is so tricky, because I've heard so many different answers! Some hiring people LOVE personalized objectives, and others just scuff them off, thinking, "Your objective is to get the job. Period."

    I fall into the camp of ditching the objective section, really for the reason you mentioned: Real estate. If my objective is to get a job, then that's obvious, and I don't need to say it when I could be spending that space talking about how awesome I am.

    Same with references. I don't even list "References Available on Request," because as one former boss told me, of COURSE my references would be available on request. Again, like the objective, it's stating the obvious.

  3. I don't have an objective anymore. After a couple of years of working and the need to restrict the resume to within 2 pages have greatly pruned my resume. I do have a summary of my skills and accomplishment in that place though

  4. Normally, the objective is used early in your career search. As soon as you have 5+ years of experience, it is a good idea to replace it with a summary of your skills. A resume is a marketing tool and use the space to trumpet your accomplishments.

  5. This is a great tip because I always thought the having the objective section was mandatory

  6. I'm with you on this one. Lose the objectives, and focus for skills and accomplishments, in hard numbers (if you can).
    Everyone's objective is fairly common and straightforward: get hired.
    Having an objective, in my opinion, will be at best be neutral, and at worse hurt you if what state in it doesn't match the vision or goals of the employer.

  7. Interesting point. Now that I have more experience, I should use the very valuable real estate to highlight those items rather than cut them down to leave the objective in. Time to revise the my resume format. Thanks!

  8. I've always wondered what the objective section was really for. Seems everyone's objective would be pretty much the same… to get hired. I mean, if you are applying for hte job I think your objective is pretty clear.

    Glad to see I'm not alone in this thinking.

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