I know you’re not supposed to lie on a resume, so I suppose my “Objective” has to be “obtain job where I commute by zipline.”
Thing is, that’s as good an objective to put on your résumé as any other. Objectives say nothing and waste the attention of your reader.
Look at these sample objectives I found from Googling “sample resume objectives”:
- Marketing position that utilizes my writing skills and enables me to make a positive contribution to the organization.
- Accomplished administrator seeking to leverage extensive background in personnel management, recruitment, employee relations and benefits administration in an entry-level human resources position.
- To transfer the office management expertise gained during eight years in a corporate setting to a managerial-level position for an established non-profit that needs fundraising and event-planning talent
- To find a role in Human Resources that will utilize my experience with legal forms, payroll and employee recruitment as well as enable me to grow within the company.
The pattern is clear: Describe the position for which you’re applying, often with obvious fluff. Rest assured that saying that you want to “make a positive contribution to the organization” does not give you an advantage over those candidates who don’t state it.
Don’t waste the reader’s attention on a rehash of the job description and canned drivel. Leave out the objective. Instead, write a three-or-four-bullet summary of your skills that summarizes the rest of the résumé. For example:
- Seven years experience in system administration on Linux and Windows datacenters
- Certified MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), working on CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)
- Four years help desk experience for 300-seat company, and fluent in Spanish
A hiring manager with 100 résumés to sift through isn’t going to read the whole thing word-for-word unless you give her a reason to. Without a summary at the top, the reader has to skim to find the good parts. Make it easy for her to find the good parts.
Finally, note that Julieanne’s quip gets to the heart of what’s wrong with the objective: It’s all about what the candidate wants. It’s like saying “Hi, glad to meet you, I’m Bob Smith, here’s what I want from your company.” The résumé is a tool to help you get the interview, and that starts with telling the reader what you can do for her, not the other way around.
(For more on objectives, see The worst way to start a resume)