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Resumes Objectives and Why They Don't Work

by John Nicholson, Resumes That Jump
Originally published: Aug 6, 2009

According to a recent article in the New York Times paraphrasing resume expert Wendy Enelow, the "biggest change in resumes over the last decade has been a switch from an objective to a summary at the top ... that emphasizes the skills that the applicant can offer the company, rather than stressing what the applicant is seeking."

Unfortunately far too many resumes still start with objectives. Here's why you should use a summary instead:

Your resume is an advertisement for you.

Starting a resume with an objective is like starting a magazine ad for a mattress or soft drink with "Seeking new customers to help grow our market share." No ad would ever do this, because consumers don't care about what the advertiser wants. They care about themselves.

The same goes for resumes. Like a good ad, focus your resume on the reader's needs and how your skills and experience can solve them. Instead of a me-centered objective, start your resume with a you-centered summary: 3-6 hard-hitting sentence fragments covering the highlights of your skills and experience, infused with a few of your most unique personal strengths.