1. Too general / generic: The standard objectives statement on resumes are often written the way a corporate mission statement is written. They tend to be high level, too broad in focus or scope, and waste valuable space or “real estate” on your resume. Consider these sample Objective Statements:
  • Objective: To secure a position in sales (leadership role, management position, etc.) with a dynamic and innovative company that allows me to leverage my experience and continue a track record of success in the life sciences sector.
  • Objective: To obtain a Program Management role that leverages my engineering and strong project management experience.

Total snooze fest! These examples are boring, generic and say nothing about the candidate, their experience, or why they might be interested in the company/role they are applying for. An Objective Statement is positioned at the top of your resume and the first thing the recruiter, HR manager, or hiring manager reads. Boring or generic is not the first impression that I would want to make to a potential employer. A recruiter knows that you’re looking for a job and that you’re applying for THIS ONE! You don’t want the company to think than any job meeting your generic objective will do, but that is basically the impact it has on the reader.

2. Self-Centered: Job seekers tend to write their Objective Statements in a self-absorbed way, making it about their own needs and wants as a candidate, rather than about the specific needs/requirements that the company or hiring manager has in filling the role. Try to read your Objective Statement as if you’re the hiring manager and then ask yourself the following question: “So What?” I challenge you to come up with an answer that justifies keeping it on your resume. The answer might sound like, “I don’t care about your objective, I care about filling my open position with the best candidate.” While there may be rare times that an Objective Statement works well for a job seeker (industry change, permanent freelancing, etc.), I assure you that the reader is not saying, “Wow, this candidate is quite focused and very clear on what they want to do”…..or “Hey, thanks for clearing that up for me!”

3) Offensive and Rude: Frankly, when I see an objective statement on a resume, I’m annoyed and usually move on. While there are certainly other reasons why you should NOT use an objective statement, the one that resonates strongest with me is the idea that in a subtle way, it’s rude and offensive to the reader – the person you’re hoping will say “yes” to your resume and call you for a phone screen, invite you in for an interview, and ultimately hire you.

Even a well written objective statement sends a subtle signal that you’re looking around for “a” job, not “the” specific job you’ve applied for. It signals to your audience that your search is about you and not them/the company. A recruiter or hiring manager cares more about their own needs or the needs of the company before they will consider your wants and needs. Companies do care about their employees needs (some better than others), but you are not an employee yet, so your needs don’t technically matter yet do they?

My advice? Don’t be rude and get rid of that objective statement from your resume. You’ll be able to convey your objectives, talents and goals during your interview, in a cover letter, thank you letter, follow up email, etc.