Resume tip #4: Include or do not include an objective in your resume, depending on the circumstances

Previous posts in series:

The traditional resume layout has the objective of the job seeker at the top below the candidate’s name and contact information. This prominent position makes a lot of sense. The potential employer can quickly get an understanding of what the candidate wants to do and what he or she can offer. By the same token, the potential employer can use the objective as a quick filter to decide if the candidate is worthy of consideration–or not.

Since the objective can be used as a filter in this way, a substantial percentage of candidates have decided to forgo the objective completely. The logic is that what’s not on the resume can’t hurt you. The employer can just look at your qualifications and decide!

If only it were that simple. Some employers will see the lack of an objective section as a sign that the candidate wishes to be all things to everyone and lacks focus and ambition in his or her career.

Thus our recommendation: Adjust your objective–within reason–for each employer to which you are submitting a resume. If you would like to be considered for more than one position in the same employer, leave off the objective and explain in a cover letter or to the hiring manager directly how you could be a fit in multiple areas.

We say “within reason” because you do need to have focus in your career and should be submitting your qualifications for jobs that you actually want. Sending resumes with widely varying objectives out to a random assortment of employers indicates a deeper issue.

Care, order, focus–these are the qualities that make a resume successful, in the objective section and everywhere else!

The Key Corporate Services Blog Team