Ah, the age-old debate of the objective. Everyone wonders about it. A decade ago, no resume was complete with out a resume objective. Nowadays, resume objective statements are gradually becoming obsolete, and we (hiring professionals) do recommend omitting or replacing them with well-written professional profile summaries.
A Deeper Dive into the Debate
It’s one of those sticky questions that divides career experts everywhere. If you got 100 of them in a room, 50 would likely say yes, you should list a career objective on your resume; the other half would probably say no. Those arguing against objectives say they are too limiting, poorly constructed, and focused on the job seeker’s needs rather than the employer’s.
Those in favor say that employers want to be able to determine in just a few seconds what you want to do for the organization, and what you’re good at. An objective can help meet that employer need. To some employers, the lack of an objective translates into a job seeker who doesn’t know what he or she wants. On the other hand, numerous employers say they rarely see a well-written objective.
Is It Relevant to the Position They Applied For?
If the candidate’s personal objective is very specific to a particular industry or position, then think about its relevance to the position you’re looking to fill. For example, if their objective is to find employment within the medical sector, how will it be received if they leave it on the resume you get when applying for a job in computing? This is also just paying attention to detail. They may feel that you are unlikely to stay with the company if a better offer comes along from an airline company a few months or a few years later.
Does Their Objective Communicate Well?
"I am an enthusiastic career driven individual with a strong team emphasis who excels in embracing tough new challenges and is able to motivate others towards achieving a common purpose."
This example objective lays out its intentions and provides you with insight into the individual's work ethic, which could be very appealing to them. Think about using your own personal objective to communicate some important details about your character that would be beneficial to an employer.
Does Their Objective Have a Clear Meaning?
Sometimes personal objectives can make sense to the person writing it but no sense at all to you the reader. Ensure that their objective fits the job description and gives you a general feel for their experience and intention.
Does Their Objective Put Them In a Positive Light?
Some personal objectives can be a positive turn-off to employers, even though they may be about something prospective employees are passionate about. I once read a personal objective in a resume that talked about how it had been the person's ambition to keep sheep and learn about caring for animals. This resume was being sent in for a computing job! Statements like this in the wrong context can leave you feeling that the candidate is strange or eccentric, even if you they are passionate about a past time or hobby.