By: John Holmgren

( I wrote this entry originally last December.  I’m republishing it now not because I’m out of things to say,  but because it got lots of comments.  More recent readers may have missed it)

There are two schools of thought on the subject.

Pro: A job “OBJECTIVE” not only should, but must be a part of your resume.
Con: The “OBJECTIVE” narrows your applicability.


First and foremost, HR and hiring managers have a problem to solve; an open job
They’re not reading idly
They’re not concerned with you individually
They must fill the position soonest
They must identify capable candidates
Desirable positions attract many resumes

It’s a multi-phase selection process.

First, received resumes are briefly scanned (½ – 2 minutes). Today, job specs are very precise. Those not fitting the job description are eliminated out of hand. Yours must state clearly your job position “OBJECTIVE”.

If the company needs an “auto claims adjuster” and your “OBJECTIVE” doesn’t say “auto claims adjustor”, you’re gone.

I make the point because it’s so important. Be specific. Don’t say you want to contribute to the prosperity (or whatever) of the organization or that you want to advance your career.

Second is close evaluation of selected resumes. This reading still only involves scanning the top half of page one. Therefore, after your “OBJECTIVE”, a “PROFILE”, or “EXECUTIVE SUMMARY” is necessary. It states the skills and capabilities supporting your claim of qualification. That may get you an interview. It should get you on the short candidate list deserving closer examination.



1: “If I don’t get this job, I’ll fit somewhere else in the organization”. Job criteria are very specific. It’s unlikely you’ll get “shopped around” the organization.

2: “If I don’t get this I’m “dead” as a candidate. Nonsense! HR and hiring managers look to satisfy needs. That, or a related job, may resurface. And, if you have strong skills your resume will be retained.

3: “It’s easier for me to have just one resume format to submit”. True, if you’re lazy. Your must customize your resume for maximum impact with each job situation. Each must be one-off.

4: “I’m a generalist. I can do most anything”. Bull! That’s not the way it works.

My conclusion: you MUST have an “OBJECTIVE” in your resume to stand out!