Your Resume: The Objective Statement Must Die

Resume-Objective-Statement-Must-DieResumes need help. Your resume needs help.

And I am on a mission.

And it isn’t a very pretty one. Every every single time I see a resume that still has “Objective Statement” emblazoned across the top of the document, I flinch.

I used to think that perhaps this outdated resume component would fade away much like bell-bottom pants. Sadly, that hasn’t come to pass. It’s still out there, just as blindingly ugly as an obnoxiously loud pair of plaid pants… and about that difficult to avoid noticing.

Whether the candidate is a more mature worker closing in on retirement, or a fresh-faced new graduate who got really bad advice from an ignorant college career center, the objective statement is a disease that still needs to be eradicated. Unfortunately, it still keeps getting propagated, and the only prevention method is education.

The objective statement must DIE. Here’s why:

  • It’s self-centered
  • It’s fluffy
  • It’s ineffective
  • It’s stupid

Wow. Sure sounds like I don’t share any love with the objective statement.

… Darn tootin’ right.

I hope this blog post gets picked up and circulated because the sooner the objective statement goes away, the better chance job seekers have to connect their expertise and strengths to solve employer needs.

The problem is that an objective statement is completely self-centered.  It’s written to describe what YOU want, when the employer doesn’t care about that. They only care about what you are going to do for THEM.

From the employer’s viewpoint, there’s nothing bigger as a turnoff as a resume that starts out talking about what the job seeker wants.  The mere fact that the candidate applied for the job implies that they want the job. So, the objective statement pretty much is a “well, duh” sentence, anyway.  And completely useless.

Getting rid of the resume objective statement and replacing it instead with a job title headline that is the same as or similar to the title of the job being targeted is MUCH more effective.

Then, right after the job title headline, provide a value proposition that connects the job seeker’s personal attributes with key skills that an employer needs in relation to the job title headline.

As a result, an ineffective, self-oriented objective statement is replaced with a clear link to what the employer is hiring for, along with a specific statement that creates a compelling reason as to why the employer might want to hire them. Much better, don’t you think?

The objective statement must die… so your career can live!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Pathfinder!




Dawn_AuthorAbout the Author: Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is the president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, where she provides results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. She is the official “Get the Job” columnist for One+ Magazine distributed to over 26,000 meeting professionals worldwide, and, a job resource site for creative and marketing professionals. Dawn is also a recognized career expert on – a top 10 world-ranked career advice blog – and a regular contributor to’s weekly meeting #tchat on Twitter. Follow Dawn on Twitter!



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