Resume Advice: Do I use an objective statement or not?

What goes at the top of your resume? We get asked this question all the time from our resume review clients. The difficult thing with resumes is they can be very subjective. You can find a lot of differing advice regarding the same topic – how your resume should be laid out, whether a functional resume is acceptable instead of a chronological resume, and whether you should have an objective statement at the top. Don’t they know what your objective is? It’s to secure the position you’re applying for right? Here’s a better, lengthier explanation of what to place at the top of your resume, from one of our own resume experts, Jasmine Marchong:

Objective / Profile summary:

Starting your résumé with a short summary / combined objective statement is preferable. Although objective statements were typical in the past, it’s not necessarily recommended. Objectives typically indicate your wants, instead you need to look at your résumé from the employer’s perspective, i.e. what skills do you bring? What value do you have that I can utilize? Why should I even read the rest of this résumé? Your profile/summary summarizes your expertise or value proposition, sets the theme for your resume and the rest of the résumé should be a validation of this. See examples below:


DRIVEN, HIGHLY MOTIVATED PROFESSIONAL…An energetic quick study and enthusiastic learner, with a track record of delivering immediate results.

MULTI-TASKER & QUICK THINKER…Manage multiple departments and projects, with a proven ability to follow thru regardless of circumstances.

SELF STARTER & TEAM PLAYER…Eager to learn and master the tasks and tools needed to excel in each position.

The bottom line is, you need to tell them why you’re qualified for the position, up front – right away. Remember the space on your resume is valuable real estate you want and have to use wisely! Thank you Jasmine for your advice :)

Hallie Crawford
Career Coach

P.S. Be sure to check out our LinkedIn Consulting Program where you can learn how to effectively leverage your LinkedIn account for your job search and ongoing professional development.