Two resume sections: toxic space-wasters

Resumes and Cover Letters

Resumes and Cover Letters

With resume real estate limited, why waste it with an objective or an offer to provide references or writing samples. Both are pointless and potentially toxic sections?

In addition to taking up space, Resume Objectives present three problems:

  • Obviousness 1. The purpose of presenting a resume to an employer is to secure a job. Whatever language that might be shoe-horned into an objective has career-ending Pompous Potential (see #3), however, if well-edited, its essence might become part of a cover letter.
  •  Obviousness 2. The only real objective is a day’s pay for a day’s work. Everything else gilds the lily.
  • Pompous Potential. The language in an objective can be a pompous, obscure, and contradictory set of sentences or sentence fragments.  Consider this real example and be glad that it isn’t yours:

    My background has cultivated an aptitude to articulate solutions and reasoning in a concise and discernible format.  I am searching for opportunities, outside the jurisprudential sphere, which demand these skills, preferably in a public relational context.


    In addition to taking up valuable resume space, a candidate’s polite offer to provide these materials and information is silly. If an employer asks for either and a candidate declines to provide them, no offer will be extended. End of employment story.

About susangainen

Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian. Abstract Painter. Writer. Teacher. Explorer.
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4 Responses to Two resume sections: toxic space-wasters

  1. Sharee Wells says:

    Haha, Susan! So very true. As a former career advisor I can’t tell you how many years I harped on this very subject. I am in total agreement!

    Use a position title or positioning statement so potential employers don’t have to try and guess your focus (they won’t). “Rainmaker” for instance, might get someone’s attention, or “Contract Attorney”, “Managing Partner”, “Employment Law Associate”, etc.

    Then use the space you saved to include statements of some results you generated for others or in school. Show why, in dollars and cents, you are a good investment!

    If people take your advice, Susan, employers everywhere will thank you for this. 🙂 Sharee Wells

  2. Mary Swanson says:

    If a person is submitting a resume in response to a posted position, I agree that the Objective section is pointless. But if a person is floating a resume among contacts, I believe that a tightly worded objective can help the contacts to identify meaningful resources. (Of course, it can also backfire if the objective is too limiting.) Whether or not the Objective section is included on the resume, the act of putting it into words forces one to focus on what the ideal position would look like. If I can “begin with the end in mind” (to quote Stephen Covey), I am more likely to get there. (And yes, I am in the thick of this very process.)

  3. Lisa says:

    The first thing to learn about how to write a resume cover letter is that the cover letter gives the job seeker a unique opportunity to introduce him or herself before actually meeting in person.Sample Resume Objectives

  4. How to write a resume – Creating a resume is a skill which needs practice and better understanding about your determination. Be 100% sure that spending another couple of minutes to learn how to make a resume will bring a …

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