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Job Objective or Summary of Qualifications?
By Ken Soper, MCC, NCCC

Job TargetDefine your "Job Objective" or target position, even if you don't include it on your resume.  Why?  One, it forces you to focus on what you are looking for.  And two, it also allows you to present your strengths and show how you see them fit with the job objective. 

A Job Objective focuses the resume toward a specific position or job title.  It should at least identify the function you desire to work in (such as Marketing, Customer Service, Tool and Die, Accounting, Manufacturing, Engineering, Information Technology, Nursing, Healthcare) and, if possible, include the industry you are targeting.  Strengths can also be included to emphasize your best qualifications, and your resume will show them.

A "Summary of Qualifications" can be an alternative to, or used in tandem with, a Job Objective. This approach permits emphasizing several areas of knowledge and/or skill, giving the reader a quick overview of your skills and expertise, and encourages the reader to look for more detail later in your resume (and hopefully an interview) that supports your summary.  The Summary should state the expertise you have in a particular function and/or industry, as well as any particularly important abilities, skills or knowledges.   The summary should not be more than 3-4 lines, 2-3 short sentences.  You might also want to highlight some of the information using "bullets" and table-formatted description.

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