Career Advice

What To Put In Your Resume’s “Objective” Section?

Using laptop

Ask one person about including an objective statement on your resume and they’ll say it’s paramount. Ask another person and they’ll say it’s outdated. Who knew a couple of sentences could be so polarizing? You’re bound to find conflicting information about this topic, making the objective statement, well, subjective. Read on to learn how to untangle this paradoxical premise so you can establish if it’s something you need to add (and if so, what to say), or something you should nix.

Assess the situation
Is your career trajectory pretty straightforward and lacking major gaps between jobs? Then you probably don’t need an objective statement. If your resume is self-explanatory, there’s no need to take up valuable space with anything that’s redundant. Also, if you’re submitting a cover letter with your resume, that should be more than sufficient in addressing your objective for your application.

Shifting Careers?
Making a big career change? Congratulations on your courageous move. This also means you’re the ideal candidate for adding an objective statement at the top of your resume. Your objective statement should clearly address the fact that you’re switching industries. Do not try to add fluff or extraneous details to seem more qualified. State the situation as it is.

[Related: How to Make Your Career Change Dream Into Reality]

Returning to the work force after some time away?
If a significant amount of time has passed since your last job, an objective statement is a good place to address this. What have you been up to? What have you learned during this period? Life experience is still valuable experience. Give a teaser of what you’ve learned.

Make it interesting
Objective statements have a reputation for being boring and unnecessary. If you’ve decided it’s necessary, make it interesting. Throw a dose of personality onto the page, share a relevant personal anecdote, add something you’ve wanted to say that hasn’t fit in any other part of your resume. Catch someone’s attention with a unique and genuine objective statement.

Keep it short
This is not your cover letter. This is not even a paragraph. Your objective statement should be a few sentences, that’s it! Communicating in few words can be surprisingly tricky, but when done well, it shows thoughtful skill. Take some time to think about how you’d best like to maximize these sentences. When space is at a premium, only include what’s absolutely necessary.

[Related: 7 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out]

Make it specific
Your objective statement is different from your elevator pitch. It’s something that’s tailored to the specific job you’re applying for. For every resume you submit, your objective statement should reflect the expectations of the employer and/or hiring manager of the specific job. Ultimately, your objective statement is not about you, but about why you are the best for the job.

Once your resume is ready, start thinking about the next phase: the interview. Glassdoor can give you insight into potential interview questions to help you feel most prepared.


READ MORE: Check out Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work