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Is it a good idea to put Summary in place of Objective in your resume?

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( 6 months ago )


I've seen lots of resume which has it's first section called "Objective" which (usually) states your career plan as to what you want to be, and what kind of position you're looking for.

I find this section pretty much useless (most often), as it doesn't add anything interesting for a potential employer. It usually starts with:

  • Seeking a software developer position ...
  • I aspire to obtain a position ...
  • I would like to take the post of ...
  • My objective is to utilize my skills and knowledge ....

Irrespective of how sophisticated and honest they may be, they end up focusing on the need of the job seeker rather than the need of a potential employer. When you apply for a software developer position, the very act of sending-your-resume-to-the-hiring-team says that you're looking for a software developer position, then why write it in the resume also? Moreover, the so-called objectivecan reliably be inferred from the other sections, such as skill setwork experienceeducation etc.

I've never seen any section which highlights the most important keywords which might interest a potential employer. So I think it is a good idea to put a "Summary" instead of "Objective" (i.e as first Section of your resume). This section should summarize your all other sections and especially your experience in years in few words.

For example,


Software Developer with 5 years of industry experience with C++, C#, WPF, WCF, and other Microsoft technologies.

Anybody who likes this summary, will surely read the rest of your resume, because even though the summary is one-line, it answers many questions useful to a potential employer:

  • What position? Software developer.
  • How much experience? 5 years experience.
  • What skill set? C++, C#, WPF, WCF, and other Microsoft technologies.

Now someone might say that the same information can be put under objective section also. I would say the Objective sections are notoriously infamous that many hiring team don't read them at all. I, for one, didn't read when I was given this task to filter resumes in my office, and I'm sure many don't either. In addition to that, the statement fits more in "Summary" section, rather than in "Objective".

Summary could have bullet points, optionally can include the kind of work you're looking for (in case if it is not obvious from your resume OR you would like to take different kind of challenges from your previous job). For example,


  • Software Developer with 5 years of industry experience with C++, C#, WPF, WCF, and other Microsoft technologies.
  • Have interest in designing and crafting efficient modern softwares, and learning new technologies and tools if need arises.

My question

So my question is :

Is it a good idea to put Summary in place of Objective in your resume?



( 6 months ago )


Once when we were interviewing we ran across a guy whose stated objective was to got a job with company XYZ. Since we weren't that company, do you suppose we bothered to read further and interview him? Other times you will see an objective to move to particular role in the next five years. If your company doesn't have that role, again you have knocked yourself out before anyone has even had a chance to be impressed by you in person or by the rest of your resume.

A Summary will tell people quickly what your qualifications are to make them want to read further, but so will a cover letter. It is a better use of space, but not optimum. Remember space in a resume is limited, it should be no more than 2 pages in the US (And even in countries where they are longer, I'd bet that people won't read the whole thing unless it grabs them in the first two pages. )

So what about you will impress people the most? That is what you need to put first in your resume (Of course after the name and contact info which is almost always expected to be first). Facts and figures and accomplishments if you have them matter a lot, then the qualifications of the type you would have in a summary, then the actuals of your work history and finally your education.

So for instance you were hiring for a SQL Server dba who will administer a terabyte-sized database with performance issues that need to be solved. If the first sentence you read is "10 years of SQL Server database administration and 3 years of Oracle database administration.", you are reasonably impressed and might think this is someone to look at further. Suppose the first sentence you read is "Improved performance by 25% in a 4 terabyte SQL Server database and reduced downtime of five major databases to less than 1% per annum." The next sentence is "Recently completed a data migration from Oracle to SQL Server of a 100 GB data base holding medical records with no user downtime." Now you are impressed, he knows how to deal with big data sets. Further you now know he thinks in business terms and knows how to improve database performance (which is really critical in huge systems) and is concerned about down time. Which guy is going to be first on your list to interview?

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