Objectives, Summaries, or Professional Profiles

Use these resume objective examples and resume summary examples to help craft your own unique resume.


Objective and Summary Example

The purpose of a resume is to "sell" your professional expertise to the hiring manger. The summary statement, professional profile, or career objective is the first "advertisement" of your skills and expertise that a hiring manger will see. Each one has a slightly different intent and feel.

In this lesson, you will compare statements and understand their purpose. Then you will determine which one is best for you in order to create one for your own resume.

Should you use a summary statement, profile, or career objective?

In the past, most job seekers included a career objective on their resumes to tell hiring managers what type of position they were looking for. A more recent trend is to include a summary statement or a professional profile in place of the objective. However, some job seekers include both an objective and a summary. Regardless of which you choose to include, this area should:

Why would you choose to include one statement over the another for your resume? Here are some examples.

Career Profile: Julie

Career Profile Screenshot

Julie chose to include a career profile to summarize her experience and highlight the key things she wants the hiring manager to know about her. She used a bulleted list to make it easy to scan.

Summary: John

Summary screenshot

John used a written summary statement to emphasize the skills and experiences he thinks he will need for the job he wants as a regional merchandise manager.

Objective: Hope

Objective screenshot

Hope used an objective to tell hiring managers what type of position she is interested in.

Deciding which approach to take

Consider the following as you decide which approach to take on your own resume.

Should you include or omit a career objective?

Fewer and fewer job seekers are including a career objective on their resumes. The trend to omit the career objective stems from recent research that shows you have a better chance to be interviewed if you write your resume to help an employer fill her open position (which is what she wants), not to tell the employer what you want. However, many job seekers still include it along with a professional summary, especially if they are new to the workforce. Note that whether or not employers expect to see a career objective on your resume is partly dependent on your field. In some fields, like education, job applicants are still expected to include an objective.

Should you use a summary or profile?

The summary and profile statement do essentially the same thing. A summary statement simply restates the key points of your resume, usually in a short paragraph or a few bullet points. A professional profile also highlights the key points from your resume, but it usually focuses more on your accomplishments and accolades.

What should this section do?

Regardless of which you choose to include on your resume, this section should:

You try it!

You Try It Icon

Open your My Resume document to complete this activity. Enter your own information into this document as we progress through each lesson in this unit.

You will be working only in the Objective and Summary portions of the document for this activity. Please refer to the orange box in the following picture:

Replace the template text with your own information. Be sure to remove the brackets as you are replacing text.

Some resume experts believe including only a simple job title in your objective is better than writing a full statement. For example, these experts would suggest using "A position as a receptionist." rather than "A full-time position using my strong organization, office managment, and customer service skills as a receptionist for an established financial planning firm."

You can rename this section with an appropriate title. Some possible titles include Profile, Competencies, Professional Background, Accomplishments, or Areas of Strength.