Why Your Entry Level Resume Should Not Contain an Objective Statement

Remember: It's not about what you want, it's about what you can offer.

Once upon a time, standard wisdom was that a resume should begin with an "objective statement". The purpose of this statement on the resume was to briefly identify the job seeker's target goal. Common objective statements found on resumes sound like this:

  • Seeking a challenging and rewarding position where I can utilize my skills.
  • To obtain a full-time position in the sales industry.
  • Opportunity for growth by leveraging my abilities in customer service and information technology.

One big problem with objective statements such as these is that they're bland and meaningless. They do nothing to set you apart from other applicants or show the hiring manager why you're special. Who doesn't want a rewarding position? What job seeker doesn't want to use their skills? And yet, objective statements are generally placed at the top of the resume--that's prime real estate that should be used for a better purpose. But the larger problem with an objective statement is this: It's all about you and what you are seeking. A good resume, on the other hand, is all about what you can deliver to your new employer. When a potential employer picks up your resume, their first question isn't "What does this person want?" Their question is, "What does this person have to offer me and my company?"

Use that prime real estate at the top of your resume to tell them what they want to know. Cut that objectives statement and replace it with a "Qualifications" or "Profile" section that highlights your key accomplishments and qualifications. Effective Qualifications or Profile sections begin with something like this:

  • High-performing Sales Manager with commitment to driving revenue growth and expanding clientele.
  • Results-oriented IT Professional with cutting-edge technical abilities.
  • Service-oriented Customer Care Representative with proven talent in problem solving and communication.

Once you’ve clearly identified yourself in the first line, go on to list a few of your key qualifications:

  • Experience winning new business memberships through onsite business sales, B2B cold calls, and open house planning.
  • Advanced knowledge of Oracle Finance, Oracle Developer, ACL (Audit Command Language) and several programming languages.
  • Builds build rapport and trust, introduces new products, and generates cross-sales and up-sales.

Statements such as these are the perfect way to start your resume: They summarize your key qualifications, they state benefits you can deliver a potential employer, and they're specific, concrete, and accomplishments-based.