Resume Objectives:
Is a Resume Objective the Right Way to Go?

Resume objectives... Some experts say NEVER bother with a resume objective, while others say they should be an essential element on every resume. Let our sample resume objective help you decide...

The simple answer is... no one is absolutely right. Your decision on whether to use an objective on your resume will depend on your circumstances, job search goals, and—in some cases—the person who reviews your resume.

We can make recommendations, but you’ll have to make your own choice, based on your individual situation and preferences. But first, let’s try to get a better understanding of the 2 different schools of thought...

The Negative Viewpoint

Ask anyone who does not believe in using resume objectives why, and they’ll tell you it’s because a resume objective is so often self-serving. In other words, they say what you want, but they usually fail to say how this is relevant to the employer. You see, the company that hires you is more interested in the potential benefits you’ll bring to the organization, not how they can help you achieve your goals.

Another problem is that a narrowly stated resume objective can be limiting. The hospital or institution may not even consider you for a position you’d love if you have clearly stated in your objective that you’re only interested in one type of job.

Finally, most resume objectives are so vague as to be meaningless. Why waste valuable resume real estate with something that will not help (and may harm) your quest towards obtaining the coveted interview?

View these "bad" sample resume objectives

On the Other Hand...

There are many resume writing experts who passionately believe in using resume objectives. They cite the fact that healthcare employers want to be able to tell — in just a few seconds — what job you want to do for their organization and what skills you bring to the table.

There is also a school of thought that says the lack of a written resume objective translates into a job applicant who doesn’t really know what he or she wants.

Also, if you have a long or diverse job history, resume objectives can help sharpen the focus of your resume. This is also true if you are trying to switch to a healthcare career that is not strongly supported by your experience.

If you do decide to use a resume objective, though, you must make sure that it is not self-serving or too limiting, and that it is uniquely stated. Make it specific and work to reflect the employer’s perspective, not your own. Demonstrate the value you’ll bring to the organization.

See some powerful sample objectives here.

One More Option

An alternative to using resume objectives is to substitute one of the following at the top of your resume:

  • Power statement. This is a summarization — in 1 sentence — of your most notable healthcare-related skills and accomplishments, items that are sure to arouse interest in a prospective employer. For example, "Highly-motivated, competent, and organized Administrative Support professional with a proven track record of teambuilding communications, resourceful problem-solving, and technical expertise."

  • Profile or Career Summary. This is similar to a power statement, but might be 3 or 4 lines/1 to 2 sentences. It could even be bullet points. But the main intent is to highlight your main healthcare-related career accomplishments to date.

View some great examples of this option. In the end, whether or not to use resume objectives is a highly personalized decision. But if you do use one, keep in mind that employers are mainly interested in what you can do for them. So be sure that your resume objective is employer-oriented and results-focused. Do this well, and you’ll be on your way to your next interview!

Top of Resume Objectives page