3 Alternatives to the resume Objective or Summary statement

While the debate about whether you should use a Summary statement or an Objective statement continues (and here), there are other things you can have at the top of your resume instead.

First though, why is there so much talk about the summary statement or objective statement? My take is that it’s not about either of the two things, it’s more about them occupying the top half of the resume and taking up prime space! Think about it, would you put a summary or objective statement after your work history or eduction section? Probably not, it doesn’t seem to fit.

So if they only really belong at the top of the resume, what purpose do they serve? Well that’s easier, 5-10 years ago hiring managers spent about 15-20 seconds on average reading a resume, so you had some time to catch the readers attention. Nowadays each resumes only gets between 6-10 seconds of reading time. With twice/three times more time a summary or profile made sense, but may not so much any more!

How about not using either and trying something different? here are my three alternatives:

1. Selected Achievements: three or four bullet points highlighting the best achievements you’ve done that matching the job your applying for obviously!.

Resume Selected Achievements

2. Technical Skills. Especially useful for technical folks to show the range of skills and experiences they have with the different areas of expertise.

3. Key Skills. Instead of listing technical skills, how about including:

  • Transferable Skills,
  • Subject Knowledge or
  • Computer Skills.

Resume - Key Skills

Each section is short and punchy, and will convey far more information about what you can do for them, than a wordy paragraph. And w an avoid using the objective statement, which is all about what you want and not what the company wants.

Good hunting


One thought on “3 Alternatives to the resume Objective or Summary statement

  1. I agree! Good suggestions for more effective use of valuable space. Objective statements rarely have much meaning to me. I don’t pay much attention to them, except to notice when the person forgets to update the statement for the position he/she’s applying for!

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