Yes, you are reading the title correctly: Ditch (yes ditch) the resume objective. A very long time ago it was common in resume writing to include an object at the opening of the resume to inform prospective employers what you as a candidate were looking for. However, as times have changed, resume writing has evolved, and the market has change, the use of an objective in your resume is highly discouraged. Let me explain to you why using this popular example of a resume objective:
“Seeking a position where I can utilize my skills and experience in sales.”
Here an objective can actually hinder your chances of getting called in for an interview, no matter how good the rest of your resume is. Your objective makes you seem selfish in that you are seeking a position to better yourself. To be brutally honest, no one really cares about what you want. Everything should be about what you can bring to the table to the employer. What is it about you that makes you stand out from the rest? What skills and experience level can you contribute to help the company succeed? How would you be an asset?
Having an objective can also limit you or exclude you from certain positions. Take the objective listed above. Note that the objective doesn’t say that you are looking for a sales position, it just says that you are looking to utilize your previous experience in sales. This could be misinterpreted and disqualify you for a position in customer service or administration that you would indeed qualify for. However, you run the risk of not having employers continue to read your resume because they can make assumptions based on your objective. They might not get to see the part in your resume where you are capable of doing other things.
Resume objectives are essentially meaningless. They don’t really say anything about who you are as an applicant. Don’t get me wrong, when writing your resume you should always have an idea in mind of what you are looking for and where you are trying to target your resume. I don’t want to use the term loosely, but you should (in your head) have an objective for writing your resume. However, once you actually begin writing it is much more beneficial to write a strong “Profile Summary” of about 3-5 lines to open our resume. The summary should be the last thing you write on the resume after you’ve gotten the big picture of things. Writing a summary does not limit you to one particular position/position type, but what it does is showcase a way for you to effectively summarize your qualifications and work experience.