Resume objective lines usually not needed

Aug 26th, 2009 | By | Category: News


Resume objective lines can hurt more than they help.

Feel free to go without a resume objective line.

Most of the objective lines or resume skill summaries I have seen said nothing.

In an article on career switchers
, I suggested that objective lines are helpful when you switch careers. Someone asked me to explain. Here goes. The objective line can frame the body of the resume and make your experience pop. Examples of good ones:

* Objective: To use six years of education reporting and analysis to get off the sidelines and into the game as a classroom teacher.

* Objective: To work in the emerging environmental industry as a public relations professional, building on my experience as a multimedia journalist.

* Summary: I am eager to start a second career, as a social network manager, using my skills and contacts from 10 years of online and community work as a reporter.

In each case, the resume has something to say about changing or sharpening directions. Following that up with a well-written summary of skills, tailored to the opening, means you don’t have to abandon everything you did in the other career. You use it.

If you’re not switching fields, your direction should be obvious from your career history. Objective lines are especially rough for new graduates.


Cliche: To work for a progressive, forward-looking, company that is engaged in leading-edge multimedia work.

Obvious: To gain full-time employment with your company.

Bland: Looking for a job that will allow me to utilize my education and skills.

Self-serving: To hone my skills with a company that has a nurturing and supportive culture.

Wordy: I am looking for a working environment that values creativity and that will help me maximize my skills in this industry as I contribute to our overall mission.

Insincere: To get a job or extended internship with (fill in company name here).

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