It’s hard to believe that something as timeless as a resume can have bits and pieces that go out of style, but the resume objective is one of those things. Originally used as a type of headline for your resume, writing a resume objective often leaves your resume with sizzle but no steak. The intent behind a resume objective was to catch the eye of a prospective employer in the hopes that they would read your resume further, but these days, a resume summary statement is a superior way to not only give your resume that initial punch it needs but also provide proper detail, additional skills and other salient information in an easy-to-digest style.
How You Used to Write a U.S. Resident Resume Objective
When it came to writing a resume objective, you typically narrowed down your experience, skills or other major talking points into one or maybe two sentences. This often means speaking heavily about work experience or education while also targeting relevant skills. Because of this, writing a resume objective was like trying to fit the entire first chapter of a book into the first paragraph. Details were often left behind. Here is an example of what you may have written as a U.S. resident for your resume objective:
Proven workplace leader looking to leverage 15 years of business management experience, exceptional communication skills and interpersonal relations into a General Manager opportunity with Company, Inc.
While the objective may offer a preview of the sort of skills and experience you bring to the role, it lacks depth. Furthermore, it is not particularly useful to the employer because it describes what you want out of the organization (i.e., a job) as opposed to focusing on what you would bring to it. The business world has realized that trying to cram a life’s worth of experience and education into a single sentence is an untenable practice and that objective statements are inferior when compared to the summary statement.
How to Write a U.S. Resident Resume Summary Statement
The resume summary statement takes the idea of writing a resume objective and expands it. Use this space to summarize your main qualifications, whether they are experiential, educational or based on skills. Take the previously used resume objective example, for instance. What would happen if we turned that into a powerful summary statement?
Proven business management leader with Master of Business Administration and over 15 years’ experience in large-scale retail and corporate management roles. Experience in organization, human resources and schedule management with start-up and established companies. Skills include marketing, accounting/payroll, project management, inventory control and network support.
This summary statement delivered the same information as the objective but also allows you to mention additional skills that could be valuable in that role. This is a snapshot of who you really are, with the ability to “hook” a hiring manager to read your resume further. Additionally, information here can also offer up great talking points should you get called in for an interview. Remember to keep it simple and succinct like when writing a resume objective, but take the time to think beyond your core skills and experience to create a detailed summary statement that packs a punch.
Building your resume can seem challenging, especially when you want to do it perfectly. Writing a resume objective or a summary statement is just the beginning. The tips and examples at LiveCareer can help in all of those areas.