Resume Objectives: Mixed Signals

There seems to be a lot of debate these days about the necessity of including an objective in your resume, and this is causing a lot of confusion among students. So, should you be including an objective in your resume?

The answer? It depends…. A lot of people say that objectives are outdated and unnecessary. Here are some specific instances where you definitely do not need an objective.

  • You are including a cover letter with your resume.
    Your objective becomes redundant. Of course you want a job/internship in your field… why else would you have given the company your resume?
  • You are not including a cover letter with your resume.
    A brief summary could be a better option. This is not simply a statement saying, “I am looking for an internship/job in XYZ field.” A summary should be an introduction to who you are, almost like your elevator pitch. This is a chance for you to make them remember you with a few key words to describe yourself. If you were to read or speak aloud your summary, it should be 30 seconds or less. Let your personality shine through your summary if you choose to include one in your resume.
  • You have a ton of experience and campus involvement.
    Having an objective can take up precious space and force you to cut some of your descriptions of involvements and work. This can be made up for by using your LinkedIn page for super-specific details of your experience, but you shouldn’t have to cut valuable experience from your resume to make room for an objective.
  • You have an online portfolio or website link on your resume.
    Your summaries and personality and objectives will be apparent through those sources.
  • You can “link” with the recruiter on LinkedIn.
    I wouldn’t worry about a summary or objective. Just make sure to ask if they mind you connecting with them and hopefully they’ll give you their card. Make sure to follow your LinkedIn networking tips to make a good impression through LinkedIn so they remember who you are.

If you choose to use an objective or not, just have confidence in yourself and your experience. Take pride in your work and what you’ve done and a recruiter won’t have any reason to doubt you based on a debated portion of your resume.

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