Do you include a Summary or Objective?

Play this article

Several years ago, it was common to see a one or two-sentence summary or objective at the top of a candidate's resume.

In these sentences, the candidate would provide a quick introduction to themselves and what type of job qualifications they had.

But should you include this section or is this outdated?


A summary section can provide a quick overview of your skill set and qualifications, allowing recruiters to easily know whether you'll be a match for a role. So a well-written summary can potentially help you get noticed by a recruiter.

A summary section can be useful if you have skills that are worth highlighting at the top of your resume.


An objective section in contrast is a statement of your career goal - What type of role you are looking to obtain.

An objective section can be useful if you have limited work experience, so if you've just graduated college, this can be a useful section to include.

Your objective might read, "Motivated software engineer looking to grow Java knowledge by developing an enterprise-level application."

However, if you're a seasoned software engineer with 10 years of experience programming in Java, your summary statement might read, "Experienced Java developer with 10 years architecting and building large-scale enterprise applications."

An objective statement denotes what you wish to achieve while a summary will showcase your accomplishments or skills.


You don't need to include an objective or summary to catch a recruiter's eye, but these sections can benefit you when you have sought-after skills to demonstrate or if you lack work experience.

I don't state a specific summary or objective on my resume. Depending on the job I might apply for, I will adjust it to include a short summary.