Does my resume need an objective?

Question: A big-time, online employment recruiter recently told me that my resume needs an objective. Is that still true?


Answer: The problem with huge, online career sites is that they hire people with very little experience, believing that anyone can use a form letter and a few simple measuring sticks to provide feedback on resumes. Most fall short of the task – even though your resume is a critical self-marketing tool for getting a job.
At a national conference for career coaches back in 2005 already, the use of an “objective” was already considered out-of-style. The person who gave you your advice was probably a recent college grad with 0 experience in the field, let alone degrees or certifications in career development. Otherwise, she/he would have known that.
The purpose of an objective was to explain what the job-candidate wanted. (Objective: full-time employment in social work, etc.) It’s an outdated concept that should be avoided at all costs! Today, stiff, worldwide competition has created a buyer’s market. As in the real estate business, the buyer is most in demand. The buyer is the company that has job openings everyone wants.
Instead of writing an objective on your resume, you should state your career goal so employers can decide whether your goal coincides with theirs. If you read their job description carefully, you’ll know what ambitions will “sell” you as a job candidate.
The best place for your goal – right on the top of your resume. Under your name and contact information, state your career goal to read something like this:

GOAL: Use extensive sales, marketing and management experience to help an organization profit and grow.

If you can claim the right career goals, you create a win-win situation for both you and your new employer.

For resume reviews from experienced consultants who have worked in the field, contact CAMEO Career & Corporate Consulting at or see our web page: Blog post by Susan K. Maciak, CAMEO CEO and lead consultant.


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