A resume objective statement at the top of your resume is a great way to highlight your skills and competencies that match the job requirements. A resume objective can also highlight your career goals and how the position fits into your long-term career plans. A thoughtful resume objective statement should be personalized to align with the job you’re applying for while setting yourself apart from the competition.
What is a resume objective statement?
A resume objective statement — sometimes called a career objective statement — is a brief outline at the top of your resume outlining your short-term career goals and why you’re looking for a job. They are usually one to three sentences long and fall in the section directly under your contact information. A well-written goal statement should capture the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager and clarify your career goal.
Some argue that an objective statement should no longer be included on a resume – they are no longer needed or they are considered obsolete, or both. However, a strong resume objective that highlights your abilities and career goals can enhance your resume — it can convince employers to give you an interview because you have the right skills and career focus.
When do you include a resume objective statement?
Some resumes will have a resume profile or resume summary instead of a resume objective. There are a few instances where a resume objective is beneficial.
Beginner or new to the job market
If you’re new to the world of work, like straight out of high school or college with little or no previous work experience, a resume objective statement might come in handy. Including an objective statement helps the hiring manager understand how your current and future career plans fit the vacancy.
Make a career change
If you choose to change careers and the position you are applying for does not match your work experience, a goal statement is an option to clarify your goals and why you are looking to make a change. An objective statement is an ideal way to explain why you are qualified for a job, even if you don’t have a lot of related work experience.
Moving or moving to a new market
If you’re moving to a new city or market, your current address might put off the hiring manager. Including your moving plans in your resume objective can save you from being eliminated for living out of town.
Tips on Resume Objective Statement
Your resume objective should be specific to the job you’re applying for, so it’s a good idea to write a new objective for each job you’re applying for.
By making your goal statement short and specific, you are more likely to hold the reader’s attention. Where possible, remove filler words such as “the”, “like” and “a”.
Incorporate the keywords from the job listing into your goal statement. This will help you bypass the bots in the company’s Applicant Tracking System, while grabbing the recruiter’s attention by emphasizing the critical skills required.
Align it to the position
The most effective goal statements are tailored to the positions being applied for. Yours should indicate the type of career you are seeking, as well as the skills and qualifications you possess that meet the requirements listed in the job posting. By taking this step, you’re more likely to hold the reader’s attention, so that they delve deeper into your resume.
Share career goals that match
Avoid stating career goals that are impossible to achieve in the organization to which you are applying. For example, if you want to be a team leader at a marketing company and you’re applying for a role in a company’s marketing department, aim for that and then focus on the growth you can achieve within of the company.
Lead with your strongest attributes
Lead with strengths relevant to the position, as well as those you are most proud to showcase. For example, use “detailed and focused”, “dedicated and team player” or “inspirational leader”.
Include key training, licenses and certifications
It is true that your education and training will be listed at the end of your CV. However, including important training or certifications that are essential to the position might attract attention more quickly. It’s essential to include this information when changing careers, changing industries, or being an entry-level candidate.
Share how you will add value
When a recruiter or hiring manager interviews you, they want to know if you will add value to the organization. The first answer to this question can be found in your CV. So your goal statement should indicate how and why you will add value to the organization.
Concisely stating your value proposition at the top of your resume improves your chances of grabbing the reader’s attention. Write down your work ethic, unique skills, past successes, and ambition to talk about the value you will add.
Sample Resume Objective Statements
Here are some examples of resume objectives broken down by category:
Young graduate beginner
Highly motivated recent psychology graduate seeking a full-time research position where I can contribute my knowledge of research practices and human behavior to help your organization assess peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Dedicated team player and aspiring talent scout with proven communication skills and an eye for talent. I am looking to work for a company where I can help develop the talent pool to support client projects and initiatives.
Change of career or industry
Accomplished leader with over 20 years of proven experience in management, social media, content development and marketing in the financial industry. Looking for an opportunity to apply my experience in the energy sector.
Communications Manager in the retail industry looking for an opportunity to use my communication and management skills to improve marketing efforts for the oil and gas industry.
Seeking a primary teaching position in a private school, utilizing my 5+ years of innovative teaching, compassion and leadership skills in the public sector.
Accomplished human resources professional in the entertainment industry with over 8 years of experience. Seeks to leverage in-depth knowledge of benefits, employee relations, policy development and payroll administration for an innovative HR consulting firm.
Seeking advancement in the industry
Looking for a Data Analytics Supervisor position where I can apply my 7+ years of data science and business analytics skills and experience. I look forward to improving business intelligence for XYZ Company in a leadership role.
Obtain a leadership position that will allow me to use my strong communication skills, my career coaching certification, my ability to work well with teams and my experience in employee relations.
If you think including a resume objective is the right move for your resume, use these guidelines to help you. Or you can choose to work with a free resume writing service to guide you!