Summary Statement vs. Resume Objective

Which one should your resume have?

Make no mistake, a summary statement and resume objective are NOT the same thing. They are both used to start a resume and both have the ultimate goal of introducing you as the best candidate for the job. However, they are not interchangeable. It is important to the success of your job search that you know the difference.

Related: Have you submitted your resume for a FREE professional critique?

The difference between a Summary Statement and a Resume Objective

There is a fine art to writing a resume, which is why a lot people hire professionals to help them with it. Whether you write it yourself or enlist the help of professionals, here is a guideline to decide the best way to start.

Summary Statement

A summary statement is similar to an objective in that is appears at the beginning and consists of a few lines about your experience. However, it is typically used by professionals with a significant amount of job experience. Think of it as a theme or personal brand. It ties together all of your past experiences nicely to show that everything you have ever done has led up to where you are now in your career.

It says more about you as professional, expert and industry leader in your field, rather than point out how you qualify for a specific job or position.

Related: 3 Resume Summary Examples That’ll Make Writing Your Own Easier

Objective Summary

Of course your objective is: GET A JOB!!!!

But we can do better than that. You should use a resume objective if you are relatively new to the whole process of a job search or you lack work experience (either overall, or in the field you are seeking.) It is also relevant to use a resume objective if you are changing industries or targeting a specific job or position.

The biggest way it differs from a summary statement is that a resume objective is carefully researched and tailored to fit the specific job you are applying for.

If you still aren’t sure which one you should use or are having trouble getting started, we are here to help.

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