Resume Objective

So what is the resume objective anyway? It is a short statement at the top of your resume that tells the employer your goal and what you want in the job.

Some people advise to keep the objective simple and straight-forward, and others will tell you to make it powerful. Some will even recommend not to include an objective.

Our advice? If you are an entry-level job candidate, then an objective would fit fine. But for professionals with more advanced experience (let's say 5 years or more), I greatly recommend writing a short summary instead. If this is you, move forward to the bottom of the page and click on the next link.

For entry-level workers, continue to read on:

You are probably used to the standard objective statements such as the following:

  • To obtain a position as Sales Coordinator.
  • An entry-level marketing role.
  • An internship in the fashion field.

Those are all okay if you simply don't have enough work experience. However, in order to make your objective more effective, consider putting more emphasis.

Better examples:

  1. Incorporate both the position and industry of the job you are applying for. Examples:
    • Marketing enthusiast seeking an entry-level role in the field of fashion.
    • Child development graduate seeking a teacher's assistant role in the private school sector.
    • Customer service representative looking to help increase sales and profit margins in a high-end retail store.

  2. If you are still in school, you can be a little creative and combine your campus work into your goals. Examples:
    • Campus newspaper editor seeking to write a features column for a local news firm.
    • President of the Student Senate looking to join the office of a district attorney.
    • Honors graduate looking to earn an internship for a well-known ad agency.

Notice how these statements are a little more detailed but still straight-forward. That's how employers can see what your exact goals are rather than assuming you're going for just any job. That brings me to my next priority tip...

Priority Tip: Never use objective statements that are too general. You never want to include common phrases that someone else will likely use.

Stay away from words like "utilize", "advancement", "to grow", "opportunity", "my skills, abilities, experience", etc. These are too commonly used and will make your resume look like everyone else's.

Here are some examples of BAD objectives:

  • To obtain a position at Mercedes.
  • Managers will think "What position??" The job is not specific, and although it includes the company's name, the employer will just think you want to work there only for the brand.

  • To have a career-oriented position where my skills can be utilized to reach goals.
  • First off... "career-oriented" doesn't specify the position. And "reach goals"... what goals?? This is too vague, and it includes the word utilize which, as I explained earlier, is used too many times by other people.

  • An office position with the opportunity for growth and advancement.
  • Well, everyone wants to advance in their job. But this is not specific and will make employers feel that you only want a job to get promoted.

  • A dedicated worker with knowledge in customer service who can provide exceptional skills and operate in a fast-paced environment to the best of my abilities.
  • For one, this is too long. And two, there are too many general words and phrases. Overall, it's vague and still doesn't explain your immediate goal.

Additional Pointers:

It's okay to have multiple resumes with all different objectives if you're applying to more than one job. Most likely, you will have to.

Leave your specific qualities for the qualifications/skills portion.

Don't use a first-person basis, like I, my, me.

Overall, keep it short, specific, and straight-forward.

Ready to move on? Click on the next section -

Summary of Qualifications.

Or go back from Resume Objective to Main Outline