A highly contested topic in the world of recruiting and hiring is the use of an objective or summary on a resume. Should you include one with your job application or not? First of all, let’s breakdown what a resume summary is. Essentially, it’s an “elevator pitch” at the top of your resume. Consider it a place to highlight your most relevant experiences and skills to quickly prove value. Now, let’s consider the pros and cons of including one or not.
When you should forgo a summary statement or objective
In most cases, you should leave the summary statement or objective off of your resume. The primary reason being that it takes up valuable space! The first section of your resume is prime real estate, and you don’t want to fill it with unnecessary reiterations of your resume. In many cases, it can detract from what is most important. If your objective is too general or doesn’t include a clear call to action, it will distract from your qualified experience and skills.
When you should use a summary statement or objective
There are a few limited situations in which a resume objective or summary is necessary. One instance is if you are a seasoned professional with quite a few years of experience. If this is the case, a summary can be great for tying together multiple roles with a common theme.
Another instance in which you’d want to use an objective would be if you have a varied background. For example, if you’ve had jobs in multiple industries utilizing a wide variety of skill sets, a summary or objective can provide clarity about the direction you’d like to take your career. You can maximize this space by focusing solely on your work history.
How to write a great summary statement or objective
The key here is to keep it simple and straight to the point! Be as specific as possible and clearly state your goals and how they relate to the position to which you are applying. Here is a great example:
“Objective: To utilize my 15+ years of experience in Mechanical Engineering, along with my passion for Project Management in a leadership role at a growing industrial company committed to sustainability.”
And as always, keep in mind that your resume is your own. Focus on what works for your experience and future career goals!