Friday, March 9, 2012

When to Include an Objective Statement

Some job seekers question whether and/or when to use an objective statement on a resume. Others wonder about using a career summary or summary of qualifications instead. So, what’s the difference, and when should you include one or the other?

Objective Statement vs. Career Summary

The objective statement should clearly communicate the type of job the job seeker is pursuing. It can even be customized to include the specific job title. On the other hand, for those who have experience, a career summary or summary of qualifications should succinctly sum up their qualifications and years of experience in the occupation and/or industry of interest. Qualifications, expertise, and skills highlighted in a summary should be mentioned again, more specifically, along with other experience and skills, later in the resume.

When Is an Objective Statement a Must?

You really can’t error by including an objective statement in a resume; however, omitting one can sometimes be a mistake. For example, job seekers new to the job market who have limited or no work experience must include a clear, concise objective statement. Without it, a recruiter or hiring manager may have difficulty making a connection between the applicant and the company’s current job openings. An objective statement is also important to a job seeker who has very diverse experience, making it hard for the employer to immediately conclude what type of job the person is applying for. This is also true for career changers who are hoping to break into a new role or new industry.

If you’re not sure how to begin writing either an objective or qualifications summary then look for samples. Ask yourself which ones would stand out if you were the employer, then use the standouts to help you draft your own statement. Remember, this is typically one of the first things a recruiter or hiring manager will read in your resume. Be sure it clearly and concisely defines the job you are pursuing and that it doesn’t contain any misspellings or grammar errors.

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