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Is a resume objective still necessary? Find out its relevance in 2024 and how it can enhance your job application's impact.

The tech job market is highly competitive, which means putting your skills and expertise at the center of your resume is critical—but what value does an objective statement bring?

An objective statement, also known as a career objective or mission statement, is a brief, punchy statement typically found at the top of a resume under your name and before your work experience. An effective objective statement concisely summarizes a candidate's career goals and aspirations, all based in the context of the job for which they are applying.

It typically outlines:

  • The type of position a candidate is seeking.
  • The skills or experiences they aim to leverage.
  • Their overall career direction.

Along with a smart selection of power and action verbs used throughout your resume, the objective statement brings velocity and verve to your application (just make sure it's also formatted correctly for Applicant Tracking System (ATS) platforms). Written well, the objective statement is the tantalizing appetizer, the sizzle reel, the opening act of your unmissable CV— providing context and direction and giving recruiters a glimpse into your career trajectory and goals.

However, if they're not written with care, the statement may detract from the overall impact of the resume or feel otherwise redundant.

With recruiters increasingly prioritizing concise and impactful resumes, as well as leveraging ATS software geared to keywords, one could ask if a tech resume really does need an objective statement.

Hannah Johnson, vice president of tech talent programs at CompTIA, says a strong objective statement must showcase a clear career focus and help define the applicant's professional aspirations. “In this way, an objective statement can serve as a valuable tool in crafting a compelling narrative,” she explains. “An overly generic or lengthy objective, on the other hand, can dull the impact of the resume.”

She says applicants must carefully evaluate the role of an objective statement and could even consider leaving it out completely, but acknowledges an eye-catching couple of sentences can galvanize a recruiter's interest and push your resume to the top of the pile.

Thomas Vick, senior regional director at Robert Half Technology, says an objective statement should mirror the equivalent of your 30-second elevator pitch. “You should be able to you should try to highlight any accomplishments you've had and specifically significant accomplishments that pertain to the position for which you're applying," he says.

We've already offered up our very best tips and tricks for writing an objective statement, so read on to discover the benefits—and possible drawbacks—the inclusion of an objective statement can bring, which will help you decide if this power play is right for your resume.

Resume Objective Statement Benefits

1. Stand Out from the Crowd

Jim Halpin, senior unit manager, technology recruiting at LaSalle Network, says when he's quickly going through resumes trying to determine which ones should be shortlisted to follow up with, the objective statement can be very helpful in getting it to narrow down the candidate pool.

“If there's like a nuance to the position or if there's something in your background where it can be deciphered a few different ways, I think having an objective is very helpful,” he says.

Vick says the crafting of the objective statement should be tailored to the specific role for which you're applying in order to truly hone in on what the recruiter is looking for.

“Any statement that is relevant to that company, to that industry or to that position that would help you stand out,” he says.

2. Establishing Intentions, Aspirations  

Halpin says if you're applying to a role within a field where you're well-established and your expertise is unquestionable, omitting an objective may not carry significant weight.

However, for those venturing into uncharted territory, perhaps navigating a career change or starting from an entry-level position with a degree that offers multiple pathways, an objective becomes invaluable.

“It serves as a guiding beacon, particularly in situations where the career trajectory may not be immediately apparent,” he explains.

In such instances, crafting a clear and concise objective can provide clarity to potential employers, signaling your intentions and aspirations within the context of the role you're pursuing.

3. Clarifying Your Background, Defining the Future

Johnson says an additional benefit an objective statement can bring is to help explain your background and any experience that does not intuitively line up to the role you're trying to obtain.

“A quick, objective statement in this case is very helpful to the recruiter to help them understand how this applicant is rationalizing their background to justify their ability to do the job for which they are applying,” she says.

A well-crafted objective statement can help recruiters and others reviewing your resume understand that.

Haplin adds that, if a position has an on-site component, putting in your objective statement a wiliness to move to where the company is located demonstrates you're paying attention. “Having a statement acknowledging that you're interested in relocating to where this job would be helpful,” he says.

Resume Objective Statement Drawbacks

1. Cluttering Up the Resume

Johnson cautions that if you've got a wealth of experience to back your application to the position, an objective statement might work across purposes because a quick glance through the resume proves you've got the chops for the job.

“If all of that information is sort of pushed down by an objective statement, the recruiter may not see the more valuable work experience,” she says.

2. Too Long, Too Muddy, Irrelevant

Halpin says it's important to pay attention to what the objective says compared to the position to which you're applying: “If you're applying to position and you have a very general background, and the objective statement doesn't make sense, recruiters may ask themselves, 'Did the person even read like what this job is?”

You want to avoid a disconnect between your objective and the nature of the role itself. “If there is a downside, it could come off as if maybe you're just clicking the mass apply button on LinkedIn or something like that, versus actually taking the time to review a description and apply to the relevant position,” Halpin says. “You must make sure the objective matches the job.”

Johnson adds that it's important not to overcomplicate the statement or make it too long.

“Two sentences maximum,” she says. “Think about it like a Tweet or a headline of who you are and why they should want to have a conversation with you. Leave some leave something to the imagination.”

3. Spelling, Grammatical Errors

Vick says the surest way to ruin a promising objective statement is to accidentally leave in spelling or grammatical errors that belie your declared attention to detail or other professional aspirations.

“Make absolutely sure there's no grammatical errors or anything along those lines, because obviously that can make it more of a detriment than a help to your cause,” he says. “But if it's well written, it can certainly be a way to help you stand out as a candidate.”

Resume Objective Statement Alternatives

1. Link it Up to Outside Sites

Johnson says an attention-grabbing alterative to the traditional mission statement she's seen in the past offered a link out to a website, additional content or work product that offers a bit more information about the candidate. “That's extra work—I would put that in the extra credit category, but I do think that is something unique,” she says.

To help stand out from the crowd 24/7, she recommends putting just as much effort into the objective summary that graces your LinkedIn profile—and make sure that's up to date as well.

2. Leave It Out Completely

Halpin, Johnson and Vick all agreed that if you feel the objective statement is either not hitting the mark, leaving you feeling comfortable, or seems otherwise superfluous, the alternative is a simple one: leave it out, and nobody will be the wiser.

“It's not a bad thing if it's not included at all,” Halpin says. “If you're struggling for space on your resume or you have so much on it that it makes sense to take the objective statement out, there's no harm in that.”


From Johnson's perspective, it's a good thing for everybody to know their elevator pitches, and going through the exercise of determining your objective and professional summary will help you in networking, conversation, and ultimately applying for jobs.

“It helps you position yourself,” she says. “It's a positive exercise to write an objective statement even if it doesn't make its way onto your resume in the end.”