In this paper, we consider the resource allocation problem for energy efficiency (EE) - spectral efficiency (SE) trade-off. Unlike traditional research that uses the EE as an objective function and imposes constraints either on the SE or achievable rate, we propound a multiobjective optimization approach that can flexibly switch between the EE and SE functions or change the priority level of each function using a trade-off parameter. Our dynamic approach is more tractable than the conventional approaches and more convenient to realistic communication applications and scenarios. We prove that the multiobjective optimization of the EE and SE is equivalent to a simple problem that maximizes the achievable rate/SE and minimizes the total power consumption. Then we apply the generalized framework of the resource allocation for the EE-SE trade-off to optimally allocate the subcarriers’ power for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) with imperfect channel estimation. Finally, we use numerical results to discuss the choice of the trade-off parameter and study the effect of the estimation error, transmission power budget and channel-to-noise ratio on the multiobjective optimization.