What Is A Resume Objective?
What is a resume objective? The objective is of course to get the job you’re applying for.
This is indisputable. The objective on a resume entails more than only writing, “I’m awesome, so hire me.”
So What Exactly Is A Resume Objective?
As The Interview Guys note, a resume objective is “a short, targeted statement that clearly outlines your career direction while simultaneously positioning you as someone who fits what the employer is looking for exactly.” You research your objective, carefully research it, and tailor it to fit the job you’re applying for.
This is not a generic cry to hire you, but rather a very specific way to point to yourself to say, “Hey, why waste your time with all these other resumes when what you’re looking for is right here in front of you?”
In other words, it’s a short summary saying where you have been in your career and where you want to go with the company where you’re applying to.
The argument against resume objectives are that they can make the applicant appear amateurish. That’s very true if not done properly. This is also true of any section of your resume, however.
A “Resume Objective” and “Resume Summary Statement” are NOT the same thing.
These two are not at all interchangeable. The focus is on resume objectives. We recommend you search for “Resume Summary Statement” on Google to get a better hand on that.
However, we will help you discern whether or not you need a “resume objective” in your resume.
When Do You Use A Resume Objective?
For using a resume , it’s important to consider the three following questions:
- Why are you changing industries?
- Are you relatively new to the job market or don’t have a lot of work experience?
- Are you changing a specific job or position?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then DEFINITELY use the resume objective!
But if you answered NO to ALL of the questions above, it’s probably better to use a resume summary statement.
Importance Of Resume Objective
The Interview Guys outline the importance of a resume objective:
Imagine how confused a hiring manager would be if they were looking for candidates to fill an office coordinator position and you sent in a resume with 10 years of experience in marketing.
Without an objective statement, the hiring manager might just assume your resume has been accidentally sent to them and simply discard it.
An objective statement on a resume being submitted for a career changing position can only help you.
You can not only use to let the hiring manager know that yes, your resume IS in the right spot, but also to help clearly explain that you’re making the switch and show that your skill set, although not traditionally associated with the job you’re now applying for, does in actuality translate and aligns with this new career path.
If you’re targeting a specific job or position, a resume objective statement can help reinforce that idea as well as ensure that the hiring manager knows EXACTLY what you’re after…not just the generic “I wanna work for your company because I think it’ll be cool so I’ll take any job you happen to have open.”
Common Resume Objective Mistakes
Job seekers are making the same mistakes when writing their job statement, the first one being writing the same objective for every job application.
When Using The Same Objective For Every Job Application
Example: To obtain a job within my chosen field that will challenge me and allow me to use my education, skills and past experiences in a way that is mutually beneficial to both myself and my employer and allow for future growth and advancement.
The goal is to be the best candidate. This means ensuring you are exactly what the hiring manager is looking for. Unless you apply for a cookie cutter factory in a cookie cutter town where every job is the same, it’s certain that your statement will not be one size fits all.
Making It All About You
This is a common problem among many job seekers. They cannot resist listing all of the things they want to do for the company. Here is a good example:
Hi, I’m Joe Jobseeker and I really want a job in a company where I make a ton of money doing as little as possible. Oh, and a corner office. A company car would be nice too. While we’re at it, let’s talk benefits, retirement…and the company vacation policy.
This example is slightly over the top, but it’s still important to take note. Even a slightly toned down version where you list only what YOU want is going to come off just as ridiculous.
Being Too Vague
It is important to be specific with your resume objective.
Example: Looking for a long term full time job where I can apply my extensive skills and knowledge to the position for which I am hired.
The hiring manager will likely pass this over asking himself or herself, “Who is this person? What skills do they have and what knowledge can they draw from that will benefit the company?”
Going On… And On… And On
Another big mistake is being too long. This is not a novel or a memoir, but just a quick blurb to get their attention.
EXAMPLE: Not going to put one here. Why? Because the example we were going to do was going to be so long and ridiculous that you and everyone else reading this post would just get bored and move onto another article. Just remember, it’s all about short and sweet. Anything over a sentence or two is TOO LONG. Remember that.
Adding Absolutely No Value
The worst mistake you can make (other than the “all about me” statement).
A writing statement that just fills space but fails to explain to the hiring manager your value to the company. This can be confused with too vague a statement.
EXAMPLE: To obtain a position within my chosen field where I can utilize my skills as a hardworking, well-educated employee in exchange for a steady market-fair paycheck.
How to Write An Effective Resume Objective
Now that we’ve gotten the bad things out of the way, it’s time to focus on the good.
If you’re someone who is changing careers, ensure that you can relate your past experiences into the job which you’re applying for. This also rings true for those who are relatively inexperienced.
Here are some good examples of resume objectives:
Someone In The Middle Of A Career Change
Experienced and accomplished political campaign manager with over ten years of experience looking to leverage extensive background in crisis management, departmental organization and mass communication into an entry-level HR assistant position with Pacific 2.1 Technologies.
Objective: To leverage my 5+ years of client-facing experience, public speaking skills, and expertise in the healthcare industry into a public relations role with Happy Tree Educational Animations.
Accomplished administrator seeking to leverage extensive background in personnel management, recruitment, employee relations and benefits administration in an entry-level human resources position. Extremely motivated for career change goal and eager to contribute to a company’s HR division.
Someone With Less Experience Or Just Starting Out
Motivated engineering graduate seeking entry level assistant quality control manager position with Dyna Tech, LLC.
Dedicated CIS graduate pursuing a help-desk position.
Hard-working student (3.5/4.0 GPA) with proven leadership and organizational skills, and minute attention to detail. Seeking to apply my abilities to fill the internship role in your company. I am a dedicated team player who can be relied upon to help your company achieve its goals.
Someone With A Lot Of Experience Targeting Their Resume For A Specific Position
Objective for Resume: To obtain the position of ONLINE ESL INSTRUCTOR with BabelSpeak.com where I can apply my education, fifteen years of teaching experience and native linguistic skills and provide clients with a high quality language instruction experience.
Elementary teacher for ABC School District.
Exceptionally focused and innovative Account Executive with a stellar customer service and revenue generation record. Adept at explaining complicated advertising concepts and financial data in a clear and accessible manner to colleagues and clients. Effective multitasker able to bring multiple account projects to completion with complete cost-effectiveness and accuracy.
Highly skilled and knowledgeable Civil Engineer with a strong record of sound and safe public works construction projects. Adept at coordinating with building and engineering professionals for every project stage. Strong multitasker with exceptional skill in functioning well in a high-pressure work environment.
Dependable and detail-oriented Accounting Clerk with an exceptional financial client service record. Adept at addressing multiple accounting projects simultaneously with complete professionalism and accuracy. Skilled in maintaining complete client confidentiality with respect to tax and business expense information.
More Resume Objectives From Resume Genius
For a Retail Manager Position
Head Cashier with over 8 years of experience in providing excellent customer service, handling daily accounts and maintaining inventory. Aiming to use my knowledge and expertise to effectively fill the managerial role in your store. Possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Arts.
Applying for a Sales Manager Position
Sales manager with 7+ years of experience driving profitability through strategic growth, leading teams, and quality control. Fiercely competitive in my approach to acquire business, and able to handle complex situations from a strategic and tactical perspective. Presently seeking a suitable leadership position with a market-leading, high-growth company that offers opportunities for advancement into sales management.
Applying for an Accountant Position
Certified Public Accountant with 5+ years of experience of ledger processes, account reconciliations and streamlining accounts. Possess an MBA with a focus in accounting. Seeking to leverage accounting expertise and experience into a managerial role as a corporate banker.
Is A Resume Objective Section Required?
Kim Isaacs answers that question on Monster:
While it’s important for your resume to include a clear career goal, you don’t have to convey it through an Objective section. The majority of job seekers may incorporate their career goals into a Qualifications Summary instead.
For example, a candidate led her qualifications summary as follows:
Talented and dependable secretary, skilled in all aspects of office management within nonprofit environments.
Her summary continued to relay her key qualifications for an administrative position, but her introductory line enabled hiring managers to immediately recognize her goal. If you are on a steady career track, incorporating your objective into a summary sends the message “this is who I am,” rather than “this is who I’d like to be when I grow up.”
Now you have all the information you need for success with your resume objective. Some assert that an objective statement is outdated, but if it’s done well, it can mean the difference between getting the interview and being left in the cold.
Author: Chuck Winkler
Chuck is a pop-culture guru, that uses all of his influences to bring unique solutions to complex problems. With over 30 years of diverse business experience, including: marketing, project management, database management, customer satisfaction and nuclear medicine (yes, nuclear medicine), he has helped both enterprise and small businesses exceed sales and revenue goals.