Should You Include an Objective Statement on your Resume? Work In Sports Podcast

Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at and this is the Work In Sports podcast…

Hope everyone had a nice weekend -- 

We’re going to do a two-parter today. Two questions I really like, but neither should take me super long to explain… so let’s turn two!

First one comes via our Private Facebook group.

Katrina Hunt from the Work in Sports podcast group - (reminder on podcast group):

Looking for some resume advice and I have looked through previous posts as well as listened to podcasts and wanted to confirm some information! 

Is it necessary to have a summary at the beginning of the resume? Should you list relevant skills in bullet points and if so where at in the resume?

Thank you in advance for any and all help!  

Katrina -- the summary and the bullet points. 

Look I won’t deny that I had versions of my resume with summaries and bullet points, but I learned over time these are not the right way to go. The fact you are asking these questions early in your career and I didn’t figure it out until my 30s means you are way ahead of me, so congrats on that!

Let’s explain why. 

The summary. The mission statement. The objective. Whatever you want to call it, it is the paragraph of wasted space, filler, that sites right below you contact information on a resume

99% of the time it says something like: 

“Accomplished, diligent, recent graduate interested in pursuing a career in the sports industry”


“Motivated student who demonstrates a strong work ethic and creative ability. Seeking to apply my marketing and sales skills as an intern this summer at your organization.”

These are a waste of space. And they are telling me things I should already know about you.

I know you want to work in the sports industry...or else you wouldn’t be applying for my job in the sports industry. 

I know you want an internship this summer or you wouldn’t be applying.

I know you think you are creative and diligent or you wouldn’t be applying for a job that requires you to be creative and diligent.

I need you to show me these things -- not tell me.

Objective statements are a waste of space. Gimme a minute and I’ll tell you what you should do instead… but first.

Now, if you are going to do one, and I really suggest you don’t, but if you are going to do one, do it right. Some of you are listening and professor told me I have to have one! Fine. if you are going to do it despite my advice … listen up so you can do something to attract the right attention, not the wrong first impression.

Listen up...are you ready… make it customized to that position you are applying for, AND make it about what the company needs. Not whaat you want and need, what they need.

My friend Carl Manteau, Senior Director of Group Sales for the Milwaukee Bucks gave a great example he said:

For example, if you are applying for a sales position with the Milwaukee Bucks, then your objective should be "To become the top revenue generator for the Milwaukee Bucks sales department. To help the sales team reach its' goals and to help the entire organization fulfill its mission of being the most successful and respected sports and entertainment company in the world."

Now that required some work on your part -- you had to research the mission of the company you are applying with and cater your response to their mission. This shows you have done your homework and makes a great first impression.

Anything less than this style, and you need to just forget the objective/summary section.

Now, what do you do instead? 

Rather than you telling me, you are diligent, figure out how to incorporate that into the body of your cover letter and your resume.

Rather than telling me you want a job in the sports industry, spend more time detailing your experience in the sports industry.

The body of your resume is what counts. What have you done! What change agent metrics can you include? How have you impacted former businesses? 

That’s what I want to see! Spend more time refining and working in the experience section of your resume -- don’t waste time telling the employer what they already assume.

Now, as for bullet points. 

When ATS systems -- applicant tracking systems -- first came out, they scanned resumes to look for individual words and phrases in order to determine if you the job seeker, had the skills that match the job description. 

So, I and many other career advice types said hey why don’t we start including a skills section at the top of the resume format with bullet points that would list things like 

  • Photoshop
  • Video editing
  • SEO
  • Google Adwords
  • Email Marketing

We’d hit all the skill buzzwords so we’d be a match and progress through the ATS.

This worked like a charm. BUT, that was short-lived. The computers got smarter! They looked for contextual relevance - meaning how was that skill SEO or Video Editing used in the context of your experience? Did it fit our needs?

We had to adjust! No more keyword stuffing skills lists -- I recommend you write out the skills each particular job says they want, make sure they appear in  your resume for that job but are in context, so rather than saying bullet point SEO

You may have a line item that says 

“Increased organize traffic 27% year over year by implementing SEO best practices”

That is the way you need to layout your resume. 

Metrics -- contextual relevance - identifying the skills that are required for this job - and highlighting them in your format.


Alright question #2 double dipper

I spoke in 5 different college classrooms last week. 

In each one, I got a question about becoming a sports agent. 

Look I’m not going to tell you not to become a sports agent… because you could be awesome at it. I just want to have a very realistic conversation about it. 

Most of the people I talk to romanticize the experience. In their head they think, I’m going to be arm in arm with famous players, they’re going to love me, and I’m going to be part of the party scene with them.

I hear this and I worry. 

When I was in the sports journalism world, I had anchors and reporters I worked with daily. Some loved the story-telling, the journalism, the reporting, the digging, the analyzing, writing and composing. For them, being on camera was just a platform to tell their story. A means to an end. 

Then I had others who wanted to be journalists, so they could be on TV. They wanted to notoriety, the billboards, to be recognized around town. The story was an obstacle course on their path to celebrity…almost a nuisance.

In my experience, the absolute 100% best hand down people in sports television and digital broadcasting, love the story and the process of crafting it. They love it for the right reasons. 

The same thing needs to hold true in an agency. If you don’t love the recruiting phase, the negotiating, the catering to your player's whims, the scraping and clawing your way up to represent just a 5th round prospect… then do not do it. 

It is a hard road becoming an agent. I’ve met and interviewed some great ones Nicole Lynn, Leigh Steinberg, Jack Mills… but it sure as hell isn’t a quick path to celebrity, it’s not a scene out of entourage. Its a grind, and you have to love and commit to that grind.

If you can do that ...go forth and prosper, but if you are looking at bright lights and stars… look elsewhere. 

That’s it for today -- have a really cool interview Wednesday with Carlton Robie. I get CMO’s and VP’s and powerful sports agents all the time.. But sometimes you have to get back down with the people. Carlton is a college senior with a really cool story…   

Check it out tomorrow. Alright, people -- get back to work!


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Alright let’s start the countdown…

By Brian Clapp | September 16, 2019
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