Objective or Profile/Summary

Objective

If you are selective in the positions for which you choose to apply, an Objective may serve you well. It should be specific enough so the Recruiter/Employer thinks that it describes what they have to offer - perhaps mentioning the type of position, role, company and/or industry. But it should not be so specific that it reads like a form letter where you have just changed the title and company name.

"A job that is close to home and will utilize my skills and education" is way too broad. On the flip side, "A Senior C++ Programmer position with Blackberry in Kitchener" is too specific. Like Goldilocks, there is an Objective that will be just right for you. If you are planning to relocate, are only considering part-time roles, or desire a position that is different from what you did most recently, say so. If, however, you are applying for positions in your current geographic area and in-line with your career path to-date, or you are applying to anything and everything, you can skip the Objective section.

Profile/Summary/Highlights

If you do not have an Objective section, you need an introductory section (call it what you prefer), you can include a branding statement within the section, along with the top three to six things you want the reader to know about you. The goal of this section is to incite the audience to read the rest of your resume.

  • It conveys your professional niche while highlighting your most important/relevant skills.
  • It is a synopsis of the rest of your resume.
  • Keep it short (no more than 1/5 page).
  • Beware of generic, over-used statements, such as "I am well-organized and punctual."

Asking yourself questions that a Recruiter/Employer might ask can lead to good summary statements. Here are a few to get you started, along with some sample responses.

How much experience do you have in this field?

Example: Someone in Hospitality might respond: "I've worked for the same place for the last 14 years and done almost all the jobs."

Summary Statement: 14 years with the same restaurant, starting as a Busser and working up to Restaurant Manager.

Do your skills/abilities meet what the employer is asking for?

Example: A Software Developer wishing to transition into Technical Writing might reply: "Several users have told me that I explain things really well."

Summary Statement: Reputation for writing concise and easy to understand explanations for both technical and nontechnical users.

What is it about your personality that makes this job a good fit for you?

Example: Someone in Customer Service might answer: "I am very tactful, and I get good results."

Summary Statement: Outstanding diplomacy that consistently produces win-win results for the company and its customers.

How do your values and passions align with those of the employer?

Example: Someone wanting to work in the environmental field might say: "I am passionate about teaching people that the environment is being harmed by industrial waste."

Summary Statement: Strong commitment to preserving nature through education about environmental hazards.

What skills or talents do you have that would be useful on the job?

Example: Someone applying for a company that is located in a multi-cultural city and/or does business internationally might respond: "I can speak German and French, as well as English."

Summary Statement: Trilingual in German, French, and English.

Summary or Objective with Career Incite

The only goal of your resume is to incite
the audience to read the
rest of your resume.