Do you still have an objective listed on your resume? It’s time to get rid of this outdated formality. You have a limited amount of space on your resume and only a few seconds to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Don’t waste the prime space at the very top of your resume on redundant information that hiring managers can easily assume or find in your email or cover letter. Here’s why you should remove the objective section and what you can do with that space instead to strengthen your resume.


why remove the resume objective?

Resume writing has evolved. What you say, how you say it, and what elements you include on your resume have changed over time. The objective statement, while once a staple on the average resume, is now a thing of the past. Here’s why:

  • it takes up valuable space: You have limited space to communicate your professional credentials. You need to use this space strategically to ensure you generate interest from hiring managers and recruiters. Focus on your skills and the value you bring, not what you’re looking for in a role.

  • it’s stating the obvious: Your objective is obvious: you want to get a call for an interview and win the job. You’re looking to make a career move. You don’t need to point this out; you can assume hiring managers already know.

  • it’s outdated, overly formal: The objective statement is outdated today. In the past, you would hand your resume in person. Today you send an email or fill out an application online. You usually communicate your objective in your email message or cover letter.

  • it says nothing about you: The objective doesn’t say anything specific about you as a candidate or set you apart in any way. It doesn’t give the reader any additional information to assess you as a candidate.

  • recruiters skip it: Hiring managers are likely to gloss over your objective statement to find the info that matters to them. If it’s going to be quickly skimmed or skipped anyway, why not use the space on more impactful information?

what to use instead of the resume objective

The top of the first page on your resume is prime real estate. The information you put there needs to be impactful and attention grabbing. Here are some ideas for how you can more effectively use this space:

  • write a professional summary: Use the space at the top of your resume to write a short professional summary. Be specific about your career development and strengths. Outline the information that makes you a top candidate for the role. Try to customize the professional summary for each job you apply for. Focus on communicating the value you can provide if hired.
  •  highlight key career milestones: We all have a number of key career milestones. Perhaps it’s a successful product launch, managing a large project, or achieving a performance record. You can also use the space at the top of the resume to list the relevant career milestones for the job you’re applying for.
  •  include a motivation statement: Some people start their resume with a career motivation statement. They outline how and why they are driven to give hiring managers and recruiters a glimpse into who they are as a person. This can make your resume more personal, human and compelling.
  • skip it entirely: Choosing to remove your objective section doesn’t mean you always have to replace it. You can just remove it. Move up other important information that already exists in your resume.

What you include on your resume instead of an objective section will depend on your industry, experience, the types of jobs you apply for, and your overall career goals. Be strategic about how you use this prime space on your resume.

What’s your career objective? Are you thinking about making a move? Make sure your resume is up to date, focused, and in alignment with your career goals.

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