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How to convey competitiveness without an objective statement or cover letter?


Philip Curran Carlsbad, CA

I've read and been told that the "objective" or "summary" statement on a resume can be a detractor, and I've also read that cover letters are rarely read (for entry level, high volume roles receiving numerous applicants). Barring those two items, how would I go about communicating why I want to change career fields, how I would transfer my skillsets, and why I should be hired over someone with pre-existing industry experience?

26 June 2020 3 replies Resumes & Cover Letters



Robert Brisolari Arlington, VA

I don't find a summary or objective statement to be a detractor and most candidates include it in their resume. Typically, job announcements will state whether they require a cover letter with the resume, so I would just follow the guidance provided. Personally, I don't find cover letters to be that beneficial. In reference to communicating why you want to change careers, that's exactly where the objective or summary is beneficial. Be clear in articulating what you've done and how it applies to a new career. I would be bold and direct in articulating what you've accomplished and how it can benefit another industry.

26 June 2020 Helpful answer


Jansen Weaver Philadelphia, PA

Good Afternoon Philip,

As a Marine for Life Representative, I would encourage you to reach out to me on LinkedIn as I would love to help you think through your resume and target industry. I am also happy to hop on a call or review your resume - whatever you think would be most helpful.



Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

I would not be to hung up on the resume objective rather how you start network to obtain requests for your resume. In all honest, if you are applying for jobs on line, that process will be tough if your resume is geared towards your military experience, many will not understand it. You need to use your network prior to getting out! This is your best time, as once you leave the military you are a veteran, and many of the folks you know now will quickly learn about your replacement. 90% of the jobs are via networking, are never posted on a company job site or a job board. Work on a couple of good elevator pitches, one more general in nature for the social network and one more specific for those in positions that may influence the hiring process. Everyone knows someone, and it is amazing as soon as people start explaining what they plan on doing and a couple of the accomplishments, you will hear people say, "oh I thought you were a Marine?". Secondly look for internships or avenue to internships. Start conducting some Informational Interviews, specifically with people in positions or companies that interest you. The networking up front will payback! If you can create some conversations with people interested in helping you, when you send in the resume you already have this STAR next to it, as it came from Jack or Jane and they trust that person.
Thank you for your service and God Bless.
Here are a couple of focused LI profiles and an article on career research.
. Good examples of “to the point” profiles are Mark Broc, PMP, SSGB, CSM and Jack Eisenhauer, Global Supply Chain. All have had long careers, but emphasized experiences and accomplishments that offer examples of the career they are searching for.

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