A resume objective (also called a career objective) is a one- to two-sentence overview of your short-term professional goals with an explanation of why you’re seeking employment. Resume objectives are often placed at the top of your resume to capture the hiring manager’s attention and should make your career goals clear.
Other types of resume introductions include:
A resume objective statement is a great way to help your resume stand out no matter your professional level or background. However, there are a few cases when including an objective is particularly helpful:
Consider your resume objective the introduction to your resume. Your resume objective may be the first thing your potential future employer ever reads about you, so you want to make sure it’s both powerful and to-the-point.
Keep these items in mind when writing a resume objective statement:
1. Keep it concise. In most cases, a recruiter or hiring manager is sifting through several resumes at a time to determine which applicants have the skills and experience necessary to move on to the next step in the hiring process. By making your resume objective short and strong, you will be more successful in holding their attention. Try removing filler words, such as “a,” “the” and “like,” to help keep the reader focused on the most important parts of your resume.
2. Tailor it to the position. Instead of writing a general objective statement, adapt it specifically to the job you’re applying for. Start by reading the job description and highlighting skills or requirements that align with your strongest attributes or experiences. When you include an objective that’s specific to the job role, the recruiter is more likely to dig deeper and learn more details about your professional experience.
3. Lead with your strongest attributes. Consider strengths that are not only relevant to the job role, but also attributes you’re proud to share. For example, “Organized and driven,” “Dedicated and experienced,” “Motivated team player” or “Accomplished leader.”
4. Note any licenses, certifications or degrees relevant to the position. While your education experience will be listed elsewhere on your resume, including any important certifications or degrees in your resume objective can more immediately put you in a good position with the employer. This is especially important to include if you’re new to the job market or you’re changing careers or industries.
5. Describe how you’ll add value as an employee. The top thing hiring managers want to know when they decide whether or not to move someone on to the next step is what value they will bring to the organization. Clearly stating your value propositions increases your chance of moving forward over another candidate of the same experience level, for example. This would be a good place to note your ambition, work ethic, history of success or unique skills.
To help you craft your resume objective statement, consider these examples:
New graduate/entering the job market for the first time:
“Highly driven recent business school graduate seeking a full-time position in finance where I can lend my knowledge of market analytics to help your organization improve profitability.”
“Motivated team player and aspiring fashion buyer with proven communications skills seeking to grow my knowledge of the couture industry and use my conversational skills as a junior retail associate for your women’s formal wear boutique.”
Career or industry change:
“Dedicated and experienced accounting professional with proven success managing finances for mid-size commercial organizations. Seeking an opportunity to use my decade of experience to serve the state government.”
“Accomplished leader in marketing communications seeking a new career path with a nonprofit organization. Looking for an opportunity to apply my passion for philanthropy and professional experience to drive positive change in my community.”
“Accomplished human resources professional seeking to leverage extensive knowledge of employee relations, business and positive communication in a customer-focused position that works directly with clients and ensures a positive experience.”
Moving to a new geographic area:
“Current kitchen manager with more than ten years experience in the restaurant industry seeking to begin a sous chef position when I relocate to Chicago in September. I am eager to apply my culinary skills and grow my experience as part of an established institution.”
Seeking advancement in the industry:
“Organized and driven administrative professional with more than seven years experience in the automotive industry. Seeking an opportunity to use my team management skills as an office manager in your fast-growing car dealership.”
“Driven and ambitious sales professional with a proven history of exceeding goals and achieving high client satisfaction ratings. I am seeking a sales manager position with a fast-growing technology company where I can marry my enthusiasm for relationship-building and my passion for innovation.”
“As a public educator with nearly two decades of experience in K–12, I am seeking the opportunity to serve as a high school principal in my local community. I am eager to use my proven leadership skills to continue the district’s legacy of quality education and help prepare students for future success.”
Although a resume objective is only one or two sentences long, make sure it showcases why you’re applying for the job, what values you offer and why a hiring manager should be interested in getting to know you better. By crafting a compelling objective statement, you can help make it easier for employers to remember you and get one step closer toward landing your new job.
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