Education Career Services

February 12, 2009

Resume Objective and Career Summary Required

Recently I was asked to describe the difference between an antiquated resume objective and a highly targeted objective and, in a nutshell, the following outlines my response:


First of all, one should understand the purpose of a career objective is to convey to a potential employer the candidate’s intent for employment or the career focus.  A resume without a highly targeted objective is like a one-size-fits-all document and most hiring managers will not waste time trying to figure out what the candidate wants to do or what the candidate has to offer.


In today’s instant age, readers simply do not have time to guess what you offer, much less what you want to do.  Years ago, truthfully not too many years ago, drawn out short stories acting as a career summary or objective were common place.


An antiquated resume objective lacks focus, is not straightforward, and may read like the following: “seeking a management position with growth potential in a progressive company.”  Needless to say, I have seen thousands with the same basic heading and I still do not know the candidate’s intent…this reads too much like a shotgun blast hoping to hit anything moving.  A highly targeted objective is specific and is typically limited to 3-5 words.  Take, for example, “Logistics Manager,” “Public Accountant,” or “Entry-Level Network Engineer” lets the reader know instantly what you are interested in doing. 


After your career objective, it becomes time to prove (via metrics) your value and immediate contributions with your career summary.  If you have any specific questions or would like to review your objective and/or career summary, do not hesitate to ask.


Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP


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