Does your resume start off with an “Objective” section? It shouldn’t, and if it does, it could be costing you big time.
Your resume is the first impression you make on a hiring manager or recruiter, and you have only seconds of their attention so you want to make it count. Everyone knows that a typo or misspelled word can be disastrous, landing your resume in the no pile. But you might not be aware that the Objective Section can potentially do the same.
At one point, people were routinely advised to start their resume off with an Objective paragraph, something that explained the type of position they were looking for and the kind of work they wanted to do. But times change, and the resume changes with them. Now, an objective is seen by most people as redundant and unnecessary; it’s obvious that your objective is to get a job or you wouldn’t be applying. We don’t mean to be snarky but it’s true.
More importantly, the objective doesn’t tell a prospective employer anything they really want to know about you and why you are the right person for their company. It is wasted space, and prime space at that – right at the top. It would be so much more useful to use this prime real estate to promote your skills and experience and give the person reviewing the resume real information that can help them evaluate your suitability for the role.
Which is why the current advice is to replace your outdated objective with a summary section. Use this section to present your most relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments in a summary format. This is a great place to list technology and programs that you are proficient in and also a good opportunity to tailor your resume to the job description and include key words. Do they ask for a developer who knows Java, C++, or Python? Put that in here and you’ll make it easier for ATS scanning software or human eyes to find those keywords and push your resume to the top of the pile.
Even if you don’t replace the Objective with a Summary, just eliminating it will automatically make your resume more attractive to recruiters by making it more up to date. The Objective section says old and stale to many recruiters, and while they should take time to look beyond it, you can’t count on that. So make a quick change to your resume and get noticed for the right reasons, reasons that will get you to the next step – an interview!