Why you should avoid an objective summary!

September 13th, 2012 | Job Search, Resume | No Comments »

There is a long standing debate over whether or not job seekers should completely abandon the objective summary from the resume format. Certain experts argue that as long as you can convey your direct benefit to the company, outlining your agenda in an objective is worthwhile. However, the risk of sabotaging yourself is much greater than the actual payoff. Here are a few reasons why:

You can sound narcissistic: A resume is a professional way to court an employer. You put on your best face, play up your good qualities, and impress upon your future employer how he or she cannot live without you. When you focus too much on how the company can benefit you, your objective summary may imply an unwanted level of self-absorption or self-centered focus. The company wants to feel valued and if you just talk about what they can do for you all night long, the benefit can seem awfully one-sided.

You can lose your reader: Resumes need to be short, sweet, & to the point. If you get carried away with an in-depth paragraph about how you can benefit the company, you may lose your audience. Hiring managers & recruiters look over your resume in a very limited time frame. So, if you waste too much of their time with a blocky paragraph, you run the risk of losing them before you really start.

You can pigeonhole yourself: As a savvy job seeker, you know how important it is to adapt your resume to meet the expectations of each new company & position (if not, check out this article). So, logically, you will change your objective summary to suit the position. This may actually limit your opportunities. By excluding the objective summary, you can allow the reader to logically come to a conclusion about what your skills can do for them. That way, if the reader sees direct correlations between your skills and another open position in the company, you won’t be left out of the running due to a misplaced summary of your intent.

Ultimately, a cover letter handles what an objective summary should outline without forcing you to stay within microscopic size limitations. With a cover letter, you have room to stretch out. Plus, most readers are willing to forgive several paragraphs in a cover letter; in fact, it is expected. So, just dismiss the objective summary and focus your time on more important things!

By James Walsh