Objective vs. Summary in resume?

GundamtdkGundamtdk Posts: 210Member
I would like to know your opinions as to which section is better to include in a resume objective or summary?

I feel that with the summary I am repeating what is said in the experience section of the resume hence wasting space.

As well do managers or HR actually read what is written in a summary paragraph?

Comments

  • astorrsastorrs Posts: 3,139Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Summary all the way. It's the first thing they read and should get them hooked.

    A few relevant posts from one of my favorite resume blogs:

    http://www.blueskyresumesblog.com/2007/03/why_i_hate_micr.html
    http://www.blueskyresumesblog.com/2007/10/no-one-cares-wh.html
    http://www.blueskyresumesblog.com/2008/06/job-search-less.html
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,339Admin Admin
    The Objective section appears at the top of your resume, after the heading, and states the type of opportunity/position that you are looking for. The Summary section immediately follows, but should be labeled "Skills and Experience" and contain information about yourself that supports your objectives. At the end of the resume put an "Additional Skills and Experience" section to list all of your minor and secondary aptitudes that don't fit in any of the prior sections.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    I'm not a big fan of the objective statement. I have always just used a type of summary. My summary isn't very specific, so its not really repeating the experience section. My experience section usually just includes specifics in bullet format not paragraph form like the summary. I usually lay mine out as:

    Summary

    Experience

    Education/Certification/Awards

    Has always worked for me!
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • GundamtdkGundamtdk Posts: 210Member
    How long should the summary be?

    What I am afraid is if the summary is too long nobody will read it.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    My summary is about three or four sentences depending on the position. I tailor it to each as I may want to highlight one set of skills more than another. I wouldn't go over four though as it might start to get too long for a quick read.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • LarryDaManLarryDaMan Posts: 797Member
    Great links. I agree with the author, the objective statement often comes off as too "I" oriented. A well written summary can do the trick.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,339Admin Admin
    The Objectives section is how you control the reader's perception your resume. It's like the first paragraph in the first chapter of a book. It sets up the reader's curiosity, expectations, and intrigue. Starting a resume with a summary is like starting a book with a glossary. Strongly consider the value of stating your employment/career objectives at the the beginning of your resume.
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    JDMurray wrote:
    The Objectives section is how you control the reader's perception your resume. It's like the first paragraph in the first chapter of a book. It sets up the reader's curiosity, expectations, and intrigue.

    Shouldn't that be the job of the cover letter?
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • LarryDaManLarryDaMan Posts: 797Member
    JDMurray wrote:
    The Objectives section is how you control the reader's perception your resume. It's like the first paragraph in the first chapter of a book. It sets up the reader's curiosity, expectations, and intrigue. Starting a resume with a summary is like starting a book with a glossary. Strongly consider the value of stating your employment/career objectives at the the beginning of your resume.

    You may have strong feelings on this, but it is not a right or a wrong situation. Many people including myself have been sucessful using resumes without the traditional "objectives" paragraph.

    Think of a summary as less of a "glossary" and more of an "executive statement" which precedes a presentation.
  • astorrsastorrs Posts: 3,139Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Which is better? I obviously prefer the second one with the summary...
    <name and contact info>

    OBJECTIVE
    Seeking a challenging software development opportunity in a dynamic environment where innovation, education and sense of ownership are valued and envcouraged.

    <technical skills>

    <work experience>
    OR
    <name and contact info>

    JAVA/C++ SOFTWARE ENGINEER
    Network * Platform * Infrastructure

    Accomplished software engineer specializing in object-oriented approaches to network and platform develpment. Extensive background in the full life-cycle of the software development process including requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, debugging and maintenance. Proven track record of designing and implementing flexible solutions which support frequent UI and functionality changes. Strengths include:

    * Object Oriented Development * Multi-Threaded Programing * Java Networking Expertise
    * Distributed/Client Server Systems * Database Development * Platform/Network Development

    <technical skills>

    <work experience>
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    I've been told by many recruiters that they typically ignore the objective section. The prevailing thought here is that everyone's objective is to make as much money as possible (whether that's true or not).

    Because I think recruiters mostly suck, and despite their opinions, I have both objective and summary sections in my resume.

    I'm a big fan of bullet points vs. any type of traditional paragraph in resumes. People tire quickly of reading long things (just look at some of my posts here!). Despite the length of some of my posts on this board, my objective section is exactly 1 bullet point and 1 line long, and my summary section is several bullet points each a couple of lines long.

    Here's an exact quote from one version of my resume:

    Objective
    • Achieve results for customers

    Summary
    • Seasoned information technology leader, with over 20 years of multi-faceted experience
    • Demonstrated achiever with exceptional knowledge of IT Service Management, ITIL best practices (v2.0, v3.0), and ISO/IEC 20000
    • Extensive technical experience, including knowledge of distributed and centralized computing environments, as well as intra- and inter-platform governance, integration, and automation
    • Proven skills in relationship management and sales support, including experience conducting presentations of technology to non-technical audiences

    This is all sorted and arranged using a table, so it looks a bit different than this post.

    Be prepared to have several things in your pocket to put in these areas depending on the job you are seeking. I change these sections based on what I think people are interested in seeing. Additionally, keep in mind that when I present my resume to someone it's not because I'm seeking full-time employment, and it's usually very relevant to some activity occurring in their environment.

    My opinion is to go for keywords and or specific information in these sections relevant to the job you are seeking. Do your intel work when applying for a job. Customization, especially in the summary section, will give the appearance that you a good fit and that you're not mass-mailing a generic resume.

    Regarding the objective, be brief and honest, yet subtle. No one believes that "challenging position with opportunities for growth" nonsense. I'm running a for-profit business, and if you are selling your time and knowledge, then so are you. A common unstated objective is to maximize earnings. I would hire someone who is able to state a non-bs objective and is clear about what they're doing over someone who comes as me with the typical nonsense "growth, challenge, blah, blah, blah" stuff.

    I'm not saying that I would list my objective as "earn lots of money in as little time as possible", but the derivative of what you really want presented honestly works (e.g., full statement, "I will earn lots of money in as little time as possible by achieving results for customers.").

    MS
Sign In or Register to comment.