Intern FAQ: Should My Resume Have an Objective?

Most career websites and advisors will tell you to put an “objective” — a statement explaining what your goal is — on your resume but is that really necessary?

Flickr user Flazingo Photos (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Not only is it unnecessary, it’s a waste of space and you should take if off your resume immediately.

Your goal is to get the job that you’re applying for and if you’ve applied for that job so there’s no reason to say it. Everything that takes up valuable space on your resume should serve the purpose of convincing the hiring manager that you are right for the position and nothing else. In fact, an objective that isn’t perfectly on point with the open position is more likely to hurt your chances because it shows you don’t actually understand the job.

What about a summary? In theory, the summary is an improvement over an objective since the focus is to succinctly explain your qualifications but that’s pretty ludicrous when your resume should only be one page. Your resume should already be short, focused, and easy to understand, so a summary is still a useless waste of space.

So, forget the objective — and the summary– and spend the space on your resume showing the best of your qualifications. That’s exactly how you will manage to achieve your objective anyway.

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