Should I Write an Objective or a Summary?

In the past, everyone started their resume with an objective to explain exactly the reason the hiring manager was receiving this document.

The Objective

Objective: Seeking mid-level manager position in petrochemical industry to gain additional experience and skills.

The objective above states what the job seeker wants to get from the position. It is written in a manner that allows hiring managers to immediately say, “Oh, not this guy!” and toss the resume in the pile that eventually gets shredded.

Certainly, hiring managers really don’t care what the job seeker wants, they are looking for candidates that meet their needs. So many objectives are written in this way:

Objective: Seeking mid-level manager position in petrochemical industry to provide experience and skills that improve operations, meet deadlines, and align with budget expectations.

This objective does state what the job seeker brings to the table. But it is still fairly blunt and devoid of achievements that demonstrate the applicants abilities.

Use a Summary

For most cases, I opt for a summary of accomplishments, skills, and experience to replace the objective. In three or four statements, job seekers can demonstrate exactly what they can bring to the employer.

There is no one right way to write a summary, but one easy-to-use format is an introductory statement that positions the candidate as meeting the job requirements and then providing three or four statements that demonstrate accomplishments.

The summary may mimic the other bullets in the resume and all start with strong action verbs. Or the bullets can all start with a noun or an adjective. Keep the written format consistent, starting every bullet with a verb, a noun, or an adjective and restate previous achievements that identify you as the best candidate.

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