Writing a resume objective was once considered the norm when job applicants wanted to stand out to potential employers and remain competitive in the job market. The short, targeted statement outlined both your career direction and your work experience. However, in the contemporary realm of resume writing, updated summary statements have replaced outdated and unnecessary objectives. Summary statements have become an integral asset of professional resumes, as they detail your best qualities and attributes and allow the reader to determine your value to the position.
How You Used to Write an American Resume Objective
Writing a resume objective for American resumes involved creating a targeted and direct statement that was specific to the desired job. When writing a resume objective, you focused on how you benefited the employer while detailing your skills and experience, all within the first few sentences of the document. This section was designed to help hiring managers recognize your goals, and it was effective in relaying key qualifications without taking up an excessive amount of space.
Writing a resume objective has fallen out of style because of its focus on what the applicant wants instead of what the employer is looking for. Because many objectives adopted the same formatting and restated similar sentiments, they were deemed redundant and useless when it came time to distinguish one candidate from the next.
How to Write an American Resume Summary Statement
A resume summary statement benefits those who have experience in a specific industry instead of those who are just starting their career, and this portion of the resume should appear at the top of a resume page. This helps you outline why you’re an ideal candidate and how you can benefit your employer. The statement is clear, concise and ensures that the reader will notice your resume. Plus, this short paragraph allows prospective employers to understand what you bring to the table as a candidate for the position.
There are a few differences when creating a summary statement as opposed to writing a resume objective. The summary statement combines your personality traits and relevant experiences as they relate to the position. When drafting a successful summary statement, you’ll want to include two or three skill sets that are beneficial to the employer and round them out by highlighting soft skills as well. The summary statement should be written like a 30-second elevator pitch: the goal being to sell yourself while maintaining the reader’s attention. In order to do this, use active verbs and avoid writing in the first-person. In this section, sentence fragments are acceptable, but your summary statement should be formatted into a paragraph of four to six lines.
The following is an example of a summary statement written for a project management position. The candidate succinctly outlines their skills and experience, while highlighting specific achievements:
Project manager with five years of experience in customer packaging, client relations, public outreach and education publications. Creative and professional with proven analytical skills. Increased system production and decreased spending of a major project for a software company. Resourceful, adaptive and proven leadership ability.
The summary statement is the first impression that you make on the reader and determines if they consider reading the rest of your resume. To enhance the quality and content of your resume, you can visit LiveCareer for more tips and guidelines.