How to Write a Resume Summary/Objective

How to Write a Resume Summary/Objective

Before you conduct your job search, you need to be familiar with the resume basics. Understanding what information to include and how to format it will help you land your next job. In your resume, a section you may choose to include is either a resume summary or a resume objective.

What Are a Resume Summary and a Resume Objective?

Before we jump into the rest of the article, let’s acknowledge the differences between a resume summary and a resume objective. A resume summary will be primarily focused on your skills. In it, you will summarise which skills you have and tailor them to the position you are applying for.

A resume objective differs as it is a way for you to outline your professional goals and intentions when you apply for a job. This will help engage a recruiter and get them interested in hiring you. If effective, it can make you one of the primary candidates for the position.

Should You Include a Resume Summary/Objective?

There’s a debate about whether including a resume summary or a resume objective is useful. In truth, the importance of including a resume summary or a resume objective depends on who you ask. For many, they will choose not to include either as they can prefer to let their experience and skills sections do the talking. For others, it is an opportunity to portray themselves the way they want to.

A large percentage of organizations funnel applicants’ resumes through an applicant tracking system (ATS). To get your resume past the filter and into the hands of a recruiter, you need the keywords in your resume to match the keywords in the job description. One way of maximizing your chances is to include a resume summary or a resume objective and stuff in some keywords to make your resume relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Getting through the ATS isn’t enough, however. Your resume still needs to convince a recruiter and then a hiring manager to put you through to the interview stage. Ensuring that your resume summary or resume objective is punchy and to the point can really leave a positive impression on a recruiter.

Not everyone will need to include a resume summary or a resume objective. If they are looking for more of the same of what they’ve worked as before, they may choose not to include one. Additionally, if someone is a certifiable expert with impressive credentials, they most likely won’t include either section.

How to Write a Resume Summary/Objective

If you choose to write a resume summary or a resume objective, you need to know your audience before you write. As mentioned earlier, there is a high chance that you’ll encounter an ATS in your applications. This will be the first member of your audience that will see your resume, so it is vital that you prepare correctly so that it doesn’t reject you.

After the ATS, your resume will reach a recruiter. If impressed, they will pass your resume on to the hiring manager. If the hiring manager finds you a worthy candidate, the interview team will be the final audience to see your resume. To be successful, your resume will need to navigate all of these people (and software).

The great thing about a resume is that you can choose which direction you want to take it. As this is the case, you need to pick what the basis of your resume will be. Do you want to evolve and try something new, or do you want to continue down a planned career path?

Once you figure your audience and resume basis out, you can begin to write your resume summary or resume objective. If you want to help the recruiter and hiring team, you may choose a resume objective. If you want to hit keywords for the ATS, a resume summary may be best for you.

Whichever component you choose, you need to remember that your entire resume needs to fit within a page. As this is the case, you should limit your resume objective to two or three short and concise sentences. If you choose to write a resume summary, aim for it to be less than 50 words.

You will need to echo the job description in the resume summary section if you choose to include it. By doing this, you can match your skills with the job description and get past the ATS. Ensure that what you include is accurate, however, as you may hurt your chances of landing the role if you are found out to be making things up.

Here are some examples to help you write your own resume summary or resume objective:

Resume Summary Examples

  • Product manager – R&D Team leadership, product lifecycle management, agile/scrum methodologies, go-to-market launch plans, product roadmaps, UI design, QA testing, SaaS solutions, requirements gathering & analysis, market & competitor research, test-driven development, troubleshooting & debugging, financial modeling & forecasting. (279 characters, 38 words).
  • Auto sales manager – Negotiating, sales, team motivator, customer service, problem-solving, customer confidence builder, industry knowledge, finance department experience, goal-oriented, always make my numbers, sales admin, budget management, advertising development. (245 characters, 28 words).

Resume Objective Examples

  • Self-motivated accountant with an MBA in accountancy and critical experience in the big four. Looking to expand the depth and range of my skills. (24 words, 147 characters).
  • Results driven property manager with five years of supervisory experience in both urban and rural housing. (16 words, 109 characters).
  • Retail manager. Substantial eCommerce experience. Looking for growth, technical challenges, and a chance to help reshape the industry. (18 words, 136 characters).
Written by Career Specialist Mar 01, 2023
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