Resume Profile vs. Objective: What's the Difference?

By Hanne Keiling

Updated December 17, 2021 | Published July 12, 2018

Updated December 17, 2021

Published July 12, 2018

While researching resume writing, you may have read about the benefits of including a resume profile or objective. Both of these additions to your resume are optional. Their purpose is to summarize your qualifications to give potential employers a quick overview of your skillset.

Whether you select a profile or an objective will depend on your work experience, job level and the position you are applying for. Below, you’ll find more context to decide if a profile or objective is right for you and examples of how to write one.

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What is a resume profile?

A resume profile is a concise overview of your qualifications for the job. Think of a condensed cover letter. This can include goals, professional experience, education, relevant skills or key projects. The resume profile is usually slightly longer than the objective and should quickly communicate to hiring managers why you are a good fit for the position.

Some employers prefer a profile over an objective because they’ll typically learn more about the candidate’s background. The resume profile is also commonly referred to as a career summary, personal profile, resume summary or summary of qualifications.

Resume Summary vs. Objective

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Resume summary vs. objective:
A resume summary is a short description of your qualifications that explain why you're a good fit for the role.

A resume objective is a brief statement that communicates your career goals, such as the type of job or industry you want to work in.

Resume profile examples

If you’ve decided adding a resume profile would be a good fit for your resume, here are a few examples to guide the structure of your summary:

Example: Maintenance mechanic

"Analytically-driven maintenance mechanic with 5+ years of experience focusing on the intricacies of equipment and instrumentation. Highly adaptable and dedicated to producing error-free results, safe working conditions, and quality service."

Example: Customer service representative

"Engaging senior customer service representative with 15+ years of experience in fast-paced call center environment. Skilled at transforming customer feedback into actionable insights that drive revenue, increase customer loyalty, and improve processes."

Example: Dental hygienist

"Adaptable and conscientious Registered Dental Hygienist with 3+ years of experience promoting and restoring oral health, building lasting relationships, and gaining patient trust."

What is a resume objective?

A resume objective is a short one to two-sentence statement that communicates your career intentions. Often this means the type of job or industry you’re looking for or the specific skill set you plan to build.

An objective might be a good choice for someone who knows the precise job and industry they want to be in, and often if that job or industry is competitive. Knowing exactly what you want in a job and effectively communicating that on your resume can be appealing to some employers. Some candidates even write a profile first and include a one-sentence objective at the end to sum up.

Resume Format

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Resume Format

  1. Name and contact information

  2. Summary or objective

  3. Professional history
    a. Company name
    b. Dates of tenure
    c. Description of role and achievement

  4. Education

  5. Skills

  6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

Resume objective examples

Let’s look at a few examples of an objective statement for reference as you consider writing one of your own:

Example: Assistant manager

"Objective to be hired as an Assistant Manager position with an innovative employer in the manufacturing industry. Preferably, said position has an opportunity for advancement with demonstrated excellence."

Example: Photographer

"Detail-oriented photographer with 10+ years professional experience seeking full-time position at a nonprofit publication."

Example: Project coordinator

"Ambitious project coordinator seeking mid-level position in higher education with the ability to efficiently own tasks beginning to end."

Another option is to leave the profile and objective off altogether and go straight into your related experience or relevant skills. When making your decision, consider the experience level and type of job you’re applying for, and what information your employer will want to know upfront. If you decide to include a profile followed by an objective statement, remember that the longer your summary is, the less likely employers are to read through it entirely.

While a resume objective is a quick statement of intention for employers to know exactly what you’re looking for, a profile or summary is a more holistic overview of the skills and experiences that make you the best candidate for the job.

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