Objective and Summary Statements on Resumes: What to Include?

by Jabusch, Anne Friday, June 18, 2010
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Using an objective statement on your resume is a highly controversial topic in the human resource industry. Many HR professionals argue that objective statements are never well written and tend to be very self-serving.

For example, my first resume objective statement was "to obtain a position where I can utilize my experience and grow with a stable company." With this objective, a hiring manager would not know anything about my skills or background.

An article from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says that objectives are helpful to include on your resume "when you are changing job focus, applying for something different than before or breaking into a new role." If you are a supervisor with 15 years of experience and are applying for a manager role, you would probably not need an objective. However, if you were trying to go to a new department, like a line worker moving into a purchasing role, you should have an objective.

Whether you choose to include an objective or not, you should always have a summary of qualifications. A good summary is comprised of 3 or 4 bulleted statements that describe your past accomplishments and skills you bring to the table. Be sure to include quantitative data to detail your successes. This will help the hiring manager better understand who you are and what you can do.

Here is an example for an executive assistant:

• 12 years of experience in a manufacturing environment with 6 years as an executive assistant

• Performed administrative tasks, coordinated travel appointments for 2 executives

• Saved the company $250 a month by switching paper types


The person reviewing that resume immediately knows the years of experience and what duties and skills can be performed. The next time you send out a resume, really consider if an objective statement is needed and include summary statements.

* Source used: http://www.shrm.org/HRCareers/Pages/0709johnson.aspx