Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CVS / APR. 14, 2015
version 6, draft 6

The CV Debate (Round 6): Career Objective VS Summary

CV Debate

When it comes to writing your CV, which out of the two is it the best to use? A career objective or a summary? While there are fundamental differences between the two, both points serve a purpose, and this is to make the CV more targeted to the job you are applying for.

Despite the fact that there is no definite rule that applies in regards to using a career objective or a summary, both can give you a competitive advantage when searching for a job and help you get noticed by employers!

If you are unsure which one to use, check out the benefits of each to help you decide which might work best for you:

See Also: The CV Debate (Round 5): Traditional vs. Video?

Career Objective

A career objective is basically a brief statement or most often a single sentence that describes your professional goal. This could be a job title and usually comes at the top of your CV just after your name and contact details. In order be effective, a career objective should:

  • Be short.
  • Be specific.
  • Highlight skills.

Writing down an objective shows employers you know what you want out of your career and that you are certain you want to work for them doing the job you love. Essentially this demonstrates your motive and your interest in working at their company and reveals your ultimate career aspiration.

Generic or specific career objective?

An objective can be specific or generic, depending on the purpose of the CV. For example, a generic CV might be helpful if you are applying for a wide variety of positions in the same or different industry. Whereas a more specific objective is used when you are targeting a job for which you can match your skills and experience.

Here are some examples:

  • Generic: To obtain a challenging position with an organisation that will help me utilise my skills and achieve business growth and success.
  • Specific: Seeking a position as an IT engineer.

The downside to using a career objective is that at times it may come off as too narrow or too broad. If you have a narrow objective, it might hinder your chances as it can disqualify you from other roles available at a company. On the other hand, if it’s too broad it might confuse employers as to what your definite goal is, giving out the impression that you don’t know what you want to do.


career summary is also positioned at the top of your CV although can be a bit longer than a career objective. This consists of two or three sentences that describe your key job-specific skills, expertise and experience in your field. This is also an effective way to demonstrate your interest and passion for the job provided that you refer to those elements that make you a suitable candidate. The secret to writing an effective career summary lies in choosing the right keywords.

A good summary has the power to catch the employer’s attention within a minute, as long as it is concise and to the point. Avoid writing a summary that’s more than 4 sentences long, considering the time they spend on each CV.


A career objective can be used as an alternative to the summary although it can also work as an addition to the summary to narrow down your focus. Personally, I would go for the career summary as it can give out more information than an objective and can help employers create a well-rounded image around your name.

See Also: The CV Debate (Round 4): First vs. Third Person

Despite the fact that there are no specific rules as far as it concerns including an objective or a summary, both can be used to boost your chances of landing your dream job!

Which one will you choose? Do you prefer to write a career objective or a summary on your CV? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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