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12/2/12 - Drop the Objective on Your Resume!

By Harry Urschel

Although I've written about this in other articles, I think the topic deserves further attention.

Much of the resume advice that's still out there promotes, and a great many job seekers still utilize an "Objective" statement at the top of their resume.

While, in general, resumes are very subjective, and there is a great deal of conflicting advice where both sides can have valid points... there is a greater consensus these days that an Objective statement is outdated in today's job market, and can be a negative when presenting a resume for opportunities.

Consider these comparisons...


Objective: To find a dynamic company where I can apply my 15 years of Software Development skills to reach my career potential.


Software Professional

Software Developer with 15 years experience in designing and creating effective applications within allotted time frames and budgets. Specific skills include:

                     Java Web Development                          Agile Methodologies 
                     Team Lead                                          SPRING Frameworks
                     Business Analysis                                  Testing




To apply my Project Management skills in an environment that enables me to achieve to the highest of my abilities and gain further experience for the benefit of the organization.



Successful Project Leader bringing proven experience in delivering projects on-time, under budget, meeting milestones, and communicating effectively. Notable qualifications include:

                       PMP Certified                                         SCRUM Master 
                       Requirements Gathering                          JAD Facilitator
                       Expert VISIO Proficiency                          Vendor Management


Contrasts can be seen in each of these comparisons. The "Objectives" which are typical examples that job seekers use, are primarily about what the job seeker hopes to find. While any company would ideally like to find someone who's goals match the open position, their primary focus is to hire someone that brings the skills and culture fit to effectively fulfill the job requirements and achieve the company's goals. The individuals own goals are secondary, and is up to the candidate to evaluate the fit with the opportunity.

Using a header that states your field of expertise helps the employer immediately know whether they are looking at a resume of someone in the right ballpark or not. Using columns of words or short phrases can communicate several key points in a quick glance. Giving the employer the ability to digest more information quickly is the best route to getting them to see the match to a particular position.

Short sentences, keywords, and phrases are always more effective at communicating a lot of information quickly than run-on sentences or paragraphs. Never sacrifice substance to gain brevity! Spend the time to figure out what is most important to convey and say it in as few words as you can.

In today's job market, if you want to create a resume that will be most effective... Drop the Objective!

Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives.