There are as many resume structures as professional resume writers. Each resume guide offers its own view as to the number of resume sections, their names and necessity. We decided to dwell on the most argued resume paragraph – Objective. Do you need to include one on your resume? What is the difference between Objective and Summary sections? Which one do you need to write and how long it must be? These are only a small share of questions arising in connection with this resume issue.


Do you need Objective section on the resume?

Although there is no strict rule as to the inclusion of any section on the resume, we recommend opening the document with a hook describing the advantages the company will gain after your employment. Objective section presents an excellent hook. Remembering that the amount of time spent on resume reading is rather limited, it’s better to have a strong start. Objectives paragraph may not only become this start, but can also help to affect the hiring manager’s impression of your resume. Instead of forming his/her own opinion after viewing Education and Experience sections, the recruiter will be more focused on their short summary at the beginning of the resume. In this way an applicant may show his strong sides and stress his suitability for the desired position.

Difference between Objective and Summary

Another common question concerns differentiation between the Summary and Objective sections. If you are not sure which to choose, consider the following rule. Objective section is more suitable in the resume of the candidates who:

  • Are college graduates and just start their professional life;

  • Want to change the career path (in case the previous rich work experience has nothing to do with the future job).

Applicants with relatively long work history usually include the Summary section on the resume just because it gives an opportunity to tell a brief story of their accomplishments. Some resume guides advice the military and those with gap years in the work life to write Objectives. However, if a person is reentering the job force having extended experience in the work field, it doesn’t really matter how old this experience is as such candidate is sure to present a list of professional achievements. Concerning the military resume, most of them being rather specific are written according to strict patterns and the choice of the sections is specified beforehand.

Objective section structure

Some candidates are worried about the question: Won’t the information in the Objective section duplicate that on the cover letter? Even if it’s so, an applicant still has to write both: Objective section of the resume and the cover letter to raise the chances for success. Cover letter is more detailed story of your professional achievements, you won’t manage to place the whole work history into one resume paragraph, and so Objective and cover letter can’t turn out absolutely identical. Moreover, if the recruiter won’t trouble to read the cover letter, the Objective/Summary resume issue will definitely attract his attention.

Summary Section Structure

The contents of the Summary section may also present some difficulties. The only advice here is to remember to focus on employer’s needs. Resume that clearly shows the benefit the applicant may bring to the company -always wins. Mention the number of years you spent gaining the necessary skills (this can be years at university for the graduates or those at the last work place). If you’ve stayed with one company for many years, it may characterize you as a loyal employee- a very nice professional trait. Don’t forget to speak about your accomplishments that benefited your former employer and stress the direction you are going to work in.

Our last tip dwells on the length of the Objective/Summary section. Don’t make the opening of the resume too long (no longer than 40-50 words) as it may bore the hiring manager. The text should be easily-readable, so if you enumerate some professional achievements, bullet-list them.

A short, precise summary of your qualifications will create the image of a professional worker aware of his strengths and the profit he can bring to the company-employer.