October 4, 2011

An Objective Statement on Your Resume - To Add or Not to Add?

As our company’s Community Liaison Partner, I’m often asked by the public to clarify or corroborate employment related opinions. There is an ongoing debate in regards to a job seeker putting an objective statement on their resume. I asked Tom Miller, Director Staffing & Recruiting Services, to collaborate with me on an answer of whether to add or not to add an objective.

To Add

Think of an objective statement as your career goals within a specific company. A statement of “I want,” that matches an employer’s “I want.” It is looking forward – speaking to what you can do for the employer.

The objective is not a summary statement. A summary is a statement of “I am” matching the employer’s “I want.” It is looking backward at who you are – summing up the essence of you.

Use an objective statement when a company puts specific information in a job posting, i.e. “Dynamic fast-growing company looking for 2-year degree trendsetters to be a part of our sales team.” This company is looking for high energy, contemporary thinking folks with an associate’s degree. Catch the employer’s attention with your objective by using their clues. Write your statement using the company’s exact words and include wording that reflects their style and spirit.

If you know the company’s name, include it in the objective when you match your statement to a company’s job posting. This shows you are the standout type of person they are looking for – the persimmon pudding candidate - not the vanilla pudding candidate.

Help a company find your application/resume in the hundreds received online by matching a posting’s wording on your objective statement. Word search could be your new best friend.

Quick housekeeping tip:  Create a folder on your computer titled Job Search. Create a folder within Job Search called Active Resumes. File each company specific resume and the date you submitted your resume under Active Resumes.

Not to Add

An objective may not be necessary when you submit a resume based on a generic job posting. If the posting is vague and does not contain any clues or explicit details about the company (including the company name) then you have nothing to match.

To add or not to add, that is the question. The answer is up to you.

Susan Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business. Tom Miller has over 30 year’s human resource, management and recruiting experience.

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