If you haven’t touched your resume in more than a decade – or are following outdated advice – chances are, it may include an objective. While this used to be common practice, it’s not anymore. Objectives are out the window and the more coveted summary of qualifications have taken their place. As a job seeker, you may be wondering what the difference is or whether it really matters. In short, yes, it does.
Why Objectives Are Out
Having an objective on your resume serves little purpose. Obviously, your goal is to land the job for which you are applying. Starting off your resume with short statement such as, “To leverage my leadership and organizational skills to drive sales and become part of a successful team,” leaves much to be desired. Objectives focus on you and what you want, not necessarily what is important to the company. It also doesn’t say that much about your potential.
If your objective doesn’t align with the position or what the company is looking for, an employer may pass you over because it’s not a good fit. Also, they may not be as interested in what you want, but rather what you can offer. When compared to an equally qualified applicant who has a summary that clearly identifies what they would bring to the position, chances are, the resume with the objective statement will be passed over.
Why You Need a Summary of Qualifications
A summary is your chance to quickly grab an employer’s attention and let them know in a few short sentences what your strongest skills and attributes are and what you would bring to the company. It’s an opportunity to brand yourself as a professional and create a more targeted approach to landing a specific job. This is especially beneficial if you’re switching careers or want to focus on a different aspect of your work than before.
Your work history may show a series of jobs in education, but a summary quickly shows employers why you’d be great as a corporate trainer and helps to connect the dots when applying for a job that may not have a clear association with your previous work history. In addition, if you’re looking to advance in your career, you can use your summary to highlight those higher-level skills you possess and your ambition.
Paring your summary with a solid list of core competencies can be even more beneficial. This allows employers to quickly see a concise list of key skills you possess that not only expand upon your summary, but also align with the qualifications they’re looking for in a job opening.
You have a few seconds to grab an employer’s attention and make them want to learn more about you, so why waste this opportunity with a less-than-stellar objective that doesn’t do much to support your candidacy? Take the time instead to write a strong, compelling summary that intrigues employers to keep reading and potentially contact you for an interview.
Read more: Tips on Writing a Resume Objective Statement