In what situations should your resume include an objective at the top?

In my experience, most objectives are complete fluff with no content. I don’t care if you want a challenging position where your sharp analytical skills and programming ability can contribute to the vision of the organization. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit while I wrote that.

That said, I can think of a few situations where having an objective might make  sense (listed below). All of these situations are specific instances of a more general case, i.e. it makes sense to have an objective when it is not immediately clear what you’re looking for just from looking at your resume. However, proceed with caution, and don’t start writing fluffy crap.

  • You have pretty broad experience within some field but are looking to really hone in on something specific at your next job.
  • It’s not immediately clear from your resume whether you want an internship or a full-time job.
  • You have worked in a number of different disciplines, or you’re a new-ish grad and have a degree in something that doesn’t directly apply to what you want to do now.
  • Your startup folded, and you’re looking to work for someone else again.
  • You were doing management for a while but want to get back into being an individual contributor.

Note: This post is taken from an answer I wrote on Quora.

One Response to “In what situations should your resume include an objective at the top?”

  1. tom kirk

    Wouldn’t it be better to express your objective in a cover letter?


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