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Do you need an objective on your resume?

That depends.
Consider these questions about various ways you might be using your resume:

  1. Are you sending your resume to one person with a cover letter that explains the purpose of sending your resume?
    If so, perhaps you can leave the objective off.

  2. Will the person who sees your resume know without question what you want to do?
    If not, a well-written objective can clarify.

  3. Is your resume for a job, an internship, a grad school application, scholarship, or other?
    If the reader doesn't know, your objective can clarify.

  4. Will the person who reads your resume guess its purpose? Will the reader guess correctly?
    If not, a well-written objective can clarify.

Bottom line, having an objective statement on your resume can add clarity and therefore might be wise.

On the flip side, you might hear that some employers don't like objectives. The truth is that no one likes a meaningless or bad objective statement. An objective that doesn't make sense for the position to which you apply can get you screened out. However, a concise, clearly-written, appropriate objective can help, and does not make a negative impression.

The real issue is what use you're making of any particular version of your resume, the means by which you are conveying it to a prospective employer — email, submitting online, in person — and whether your objective statement communicates something meaningful to the employer.

You might need an objective on some versions of your resume, but not others.

Need help? We are happy to help you make the decision that is best for you through advising.

Avoiding the useless, boring objective!:

Words to strike from your resume, The
Bad objective..."To obtain a position that leverages my skills and experience as well as provides a challenging environment that promotes growth." "Yawn. This is not only boring, it's ineffective..."