Most employers find that a carefully worded statement of purpose will help them quickly evaluate your suitability for a given position. An objective statement can be particularly useful as a quick-screen device when viewed by a manager responsible for staffing several types of positions. (“Let’s see; accountants in this pile, programmers in that pile, plant managers in that pile…”)
While a stated objective gives you the advantage of targeting your employment goals, it can also work against you. A hiring manager lacking in imagination or who’s hard pressed for time will often overlook a resumé with an objective that doesn’t conform to the exact specifications of a position opening. That means that if your objective reads “Vice President position with a progressive, growth-oriented company,” you may limit your options and not be considered for the job of regional manager for a struggling company in a mature market — a job you may enjoy and be well suited to.
If you’re pretty sure of the exact position you want in the field or industry you’re interested in, then state it in your objective. Otherwise, broaden your objective or leave it off the resumé.