Resumes: Objective Statement or Not?

MGR Accounting Recruiters in
on Mar 2, 2014. Posted inBlogging In Balance

Undoubtedly you have heard that resumes should be no more than 2 pages, or possibly even one, depending on your experience and who is giving the advice.  You have also likely seen many resumes start with an “Objective Statement”.  So why do we use an Objective Statement?  Do we even need one?Why use an Objective Statement

The answer to all these questions is… it depends.

Why do we use an objective statement?  It depends… on your specific resume.  One situation where you definitely need an objective statement is where you are looking for something different than jobs you have held previously.  If you are looking to make a career change, the objective statement is a great place to state that.

What if you aren’t looking to make a career change, then what should you put in the objective statement?  It depends… on the skills and attributes that you would like to highlight.  On a well-prepared resume, every square inch counts; therefore you don’t want to waste space with an objective statement that has no purpose.  Statements like, “Accounting professional with 15 years experience looking for an employer where I can use my abilities,” don’t really add anything to the resume.  They simply take up space saying things that either 1) everyone says, or 2) the rest of your resume tells people anyway.  Instead, use the objective statement to highlight skills and attributes using keywords that you have not been able to highlight elsewhere.

Which brings us to our final question… If we aren’t supposed to reiterate items that are stated elsewhere, do we even need an objective statement?  It depends… on whether you are able to get in all the critical information elsewhere, and on whether you are willing to customize your resume to each advertisement you respond to.  If your resume has all the critical information contained in other sections, then there really is no absolute need for an objective statement, that is unless you are willing to customize it for each position that you apply for.

By customizing your objective statement to each and every ad you respond to, you are able to point out the specific experience you have that meets the employer’s needs.  You thereby increase the chances of getting called on those particular openings.  As long as you are being truthful and merely making it easier to notice your qualifications, then in many ways you are doing the employer a service by helping make sure that they don’t overlook your applicable knowledge and experience.

If you are willing to do this, then yes, an objective statement is a powerful tool.  Otherwise, it is typically just a waste of a few lines that we put on the top of a resume because it’s always been done that way.

Until next time, I wish you the best in your search.