Top Reasons to Replace Your Objective Statement with a Professional Summary
In the past, it was customary to add an objective statement at the top of your resume to explain why you were applying for a job. However, objective statements have become outdated for various reasons. To get your resume in step with the times, you need to dump that objective statement in favor of a professional summary. If you’re not quite sure how to do it, hire a resume expert to help you construct a superb professional summary.
Why get rid of the objective statement?
If the objective statement was a standard component of resumes, why has it fallen out of favor? The short answer is that it’s really not useful. Here’s why.
It uses clichéd words
Overused buzzwords (dedicated, hard-working, experienced, etc.) should be avoided in resume writing. It’s not that hiring managers don’t want dedicated, hard-working, and experienced workers—they definitely do. However, anyone can say that about themselves, and a recruiter has no reason to believe that’s the case.
If your resume includes an objective statement crammed with such clichés, the hiring manager will shove it to the side. An objective statement vaguely notes what qualities you possess and never bothers to prove them—it’s essentially a waste of space.
It revolves around you
An objective statement is only about you. It doesn’t show the hiring manager how you can benefit their company. An employer doesn’t care about your self-image, goals, and desires—they look at your resume to find out what you can offer them.
Why go with a professional summary?
Since objective statements clearly add no value to your resume, how can you step things up with a professional summary? Why is it better? In a word, it is superior because it’s tailored to the company’s goals and shows how you can help meet them. Let’s take a look at what makes a professional summary the right choice.
It quantifies your skills
Quantifying your skills means expressing your qualifications in concrete numbers and accomplishments, which allows you to demonstrate how these skills can benefit an employer. When you show how you’ve used them to accomplish tasks, a hiring manager will see the value you can add to their company.
Instead of simply stating what your position was, explain how you performed tasks and created value for your employer. Don’t leave the hiring manager wondering what you could do for their company—use clear, concise explanations of your accomplishments to show them. Ask yourself how your education or experience can benefit the company or what you’ve achieved in the past that makes you a strong candidate for the position. Questions like these will help you quantify your skills and craft a professional summary that intrigues any employer.
It showcases your flexibility
When writing your professional summary, think about what you’re willing to do to benefit the company and make your intentions clear. For example, if you’re willing to travel for a sales job, note that in your professional summary. The position may even require you to fly around the world, and if so, be sure to specify that you don’t mind doing it. If the job inherently includes travel—such as a flight attendant position—you don’t need to mention this because the mere fact that you’re applying makes your willingness to travel obvious.
If the job is in another city or state, clarify whether you’re ready to relocate. Say you live in Florida, but the job you’re applying for is in Virginia. Obviously, the hiring manager will notice where you live, so if you don’t state your preparedness to relocate, they may toss out your resume. You could even say you’re willing to move at your own expense, but you don’t have to—some companies will cover this cost, but it depends on the circumstances. They’ll be more likely to assist if you have to relocate your entire family. If there are indications that you wanted to move anyway, the employer isn’t likely to want to finance your relocation.
Another instance of flexibility is multilingualism. Speaking multiple languages has considerable benefits because you can serve as a translator if needed or provide extra value to non-English-speaking clients. If you know two or more languages, mention that in your professional summary, specifying which you speak. This can help you stand out from the crowd, securing you the job over a similarly qualified monolingual candidate. However, only list languages you’re fluent in—this is not the place to boast about passing your beginner French course.
Finally, if you don’t have a permit to work in the U.S., note in your professional summary whether you require sponsorship to work in the country. If not, clearly explain why.
If you want to land a great job, get rid of your outdated, self-absorbed objective statement and replace it with a professional summary that highlights your quantifiable skills, showcases your flexibility, and explains how you can benefit the company you’re looking to join. The job market is intensely competitive, so take every opportunity you can to improve your resume, starting with your professional summary. Need help with that? Work with a resume expert to make sure you have a top-notch professional summary.