Stating Your Objective
Catch the reader’s attention by stating how you can benefit the company. An Objective statement is one or two sentences that clearly identifies the job title or career field you are seeking and describes the industry or type of company you would prefer. A well-written Objective statement demonstrates why you are qualified for the position and explains how an employer would benefit from hiring you. This statement should be concise, focused and compelling.
When preparing your resume, write your objective statement first. This will help you focus your efforts on writing the remainder of your resume in a way that demonstrates why you are qualified for the position. It will also help potential employers match your skills and abilities with the right job opening. Your Objective statement also helps a company decide who should see your resume and where it should be filed if no immediate position is available.
Insider Tip: If you are applying for a specific position at a specific company, use the same (or similar) job title as it appears in the job posting. If you are applying for a variety of positions, use your Objective statement to target a specific industry or describe a more general career category.
When to Use an Objective
If you are an experienced professional, consider using a Summary statement instead of an Objective statement (see “Should I use a Summary instead of an Objective” under Questions and Answers). However, if you can clearly define the position you are seeking, then an Objective statement is recommended.
Advantages to Using an Objective:
· Assures the reader that you are focused in a particular career field.
· Allows hiring managers to match your resume with appropriate jobs quickly.
· Helps focus your resume to support your qualifications for a specific career.
Disadvantages to Using an Objective:
· Prevents you from being considered for other positions you may be qualified for.
· Requires you to spend more time developing a resume that targets each career field.
· A broadly-stated Objective becomes meaningless and makes you seem unfocused.
How to Write an Objective Statement
When writing your Objective statement, consider how much you want to tailor or customize your resume to match the requirements of the position, as well as how widely you will need to distribute your resume. If you are applying for a targeted position that has been advertised or posted, then write your Objective to include the exact job title and ensure that your preferred type of company or industry matches the description of the company to which you are applying.
If you are applying for the same or similar position but targeting a large number of different companies and industries, you may want to use a more general Objective that describes the career field you are seeking and communicates your relevant skills, abilities and experience. Many companies have slightly different names for a particular job title so, when listing your preferred career, consider using several different job titles or use a broader career field term such as “Marketing Management.”
Common Mistakes to Avoid
· Avoid obvious or meaningless statements such as “A challenging and rewarding position…” or “A position offering the opportunity for advancement.” Employers assume you would prefer a challenging and rewarding position.
· Avoid self-serving statements such as “A position that will grow my skills and experience…” Employers would much rather understand why you are qualified for the position than what you are expecting of them.
· Avoid using “entry-level position” in your Objective, even though you are just beginning your career. This statement may preclude you from being considered for a more advanced position you might otherwise be qualified to manage.
Objectives - Examples
Biological Research Assistant utilizing my science background and laboratory experience.
Assistant Webmaster position at a major television station, utilizing my Communications major, network television internship experience, and extensive computer skills.
Marketing role using my creative energy and passionate approach to drive success in both large and small organizations.
Retail Management/Supervisor position that makes full use of my proven ability to manage departments, increase customer satisfaction and develop hourly employees.
Financial Management position in the non-profit sector utilizing proven skills as a financial manager, organization builder and problem solver.
Objectives - Questions & Answers
In general, use an Objective statement when you:
- Are an entry-level job seeker or recent graduate with minimal on-the-job experience.
- Are transitioning into a new career field, exiting the military or returning to work following a leave of absence.
- Are looking explicitly for a particular position, type of company or specific industry.
- Know the exact job title of the job opening you are targeting and have time to tailor your Objective statement to match the job title, working environment and type of company for each position.
- Your past work experience is diverse and crosses several different career fields, and you want the reader to understand your career direction clearly.
In general, use a Summary statement when you:
- Are an experienced job seeker and are looking for a similar career within your field or industry.
- Have a skill set that is diverse or widely applicable and you want to be considered for more than one kind of position.
- Know that your resume will reside within a resume database and you want to be considered for a wide variety of job openings.
- Have valuable experience or specific accomplishments that appear on the second page of your resume but want to highlight up front.
- Your Summary contains at least one substantial accomplishment or qualification that supports your career objective.
- Your occupation offers career pathways into many diverse career fields or spans several industries (such as Customer Service).
A resume that is tailored for each individual job opening has the highest probability of success in landing the interview. Consider tailoring your resume for each company in which you are seriously interested. Minor changes to your job objective may not require a re-write of your resume. However, if your job target changes significantly, ensure that the skills, abilities and experience described in your resume demonstrate that you are qualified for the position.
The majority of employers prefer to see either an Objective or Summary statement at the top of your resume. However, if you have held several positions within your targeted career field and your qualifications are apparent, then your preferred job target and previous experience will be obvious to the reader.
Keep in mind that your cover letter and resume may be separated. If you are including an Objective statement, be sure to include it on both your resume and cover letter.