Don’t be fooled by people who tell you that resume objective statements are optional, or that you shouldn’t have one at all. Their reasoning is usually that objective statements fence you in and limit your job-seeking focus.

I’m here to tell you that you need an objective statement on your resume. Why?

* An objective statement tells me why I should keep reading the rest of your resume.

It’s advertising, basically. It’s the teaser that will draw me in to reading the rest of your resume. (The cover letter won’t do it. Recruiters don’t generally have the time to read a cover letter–we go straight to the resume. So, make sure the first few lines of your resume make me want to read more.) Read about how to craft a compelling objective statement. At it’s core, it’s about creating a statement that fits your capabilities to fulfilling the needs of the organization. What are a few of your key qualities that will make you a good fit for this job? Be careful that you don’t make this too generic (boring).

* An objective statement makes it easier for me to figure out who you are and what you want.

Don’t be vague: Think of your resume objective as a Personal Branding Statement. It’s not only saying what you want, but it’s also indicating what problems you can solve and how you can bring value to the organization. In that way, it’s tailored to the job you’re applying for. You're telling the hiring manager what you can do to fill the needs of the company--not telling him how he can help you get what you want.

Don’t worry: a well-crafted, tailored objective statement won’t stop you from being considered for other jobs. For instance, as a medical sales recruiter, I’m always looking for the best candidate to submit to my clients for consideration for jobs in medical sales, laboratory sales, medical device sales, health care IT, and more. If your objective statement has led me to read the rest of your resume to see what you can do (and what you have done), I’m going to think about you for any job you might be a good fit for because that’s what’s in the best interests of me and my client companies.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, management, and recruiting. She is the CEO of PHC Consulting, a nationally-known medical sales recruiting firm. See her website and blog for more on medical sales at She offers powerful tools and tips for resumes, LinkedIn, 30/60/90-day plans, brag books, and more that will help you succeed in your job search at