Does a Resume Need an Objective Statement?
Updated June 29, 2023
To get their resumes to stand out, many people add objective statements. An objective statement is a sentence or two that describes your career intentions and a little about who you are. Resume objective statements give hiring managers something they can quickly read and get a better idea of who a candidate is. In this article, we explain what an objective statement is, when you should use one and how you can write an objective statement that makes an impact on employers.
What is an objective statement?
An objective statement is one or two sentences near the top of your resume that introduces your goals to the employer. With this statement, you identify the reasons you are applying for this job and the skills that make you suitable for it. Usually, you add an objective statement right after your name and contact information. An objective statement can get the attention of the hiring manager quickly and make it more likely that they’ll read the rest of your application materials.
"Resume Format" is the title of this infographic that shows an image of an example resume.
On the left side of the infographic, a numbered list points to each section of the resume.
Name and contact information
Summary or objective
a. Company name
b. Dates of tenure
c. Description of role and achievement
Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)
On the right side of the image is a sample resume with the name Janet Chobot and lines representing text underneath. Then the headlines Summary, Professional History, Educational History, Skills, and Awards & Achievements. Under each section are lines representing text.
The best time to use an objective statement on your resume is when you are changing into an entirely new career. When changing to a new career, you need to show why you’re interested in this new field and how your past skills can transfer over.
For example, you’ve spent the past 10 years working in marketing and now you want to start a career in sales. Your resume is filled with marketing experience, but you need to show that you’d be a strong sales employee. In your objective statement, you could mention how you’re experienced in understanding client needs and working with customers. Listing transferrable skills can show how you can apply your abilities to a new field.
You can also add an objective statement to your resume if you’re a recent graduate, an entry-level candidate or recently relocated to a new area.
Benefits of an objective statement
Here are some benefits of including an objective statement on your resume:
Employers may receive so many applications for a single job opening that they spend less than a minute reviewing each one. With an objective statement at the top of your resume, you give employers something they can easily read in just a few seconds, rather than reviewing your entire resume to determine if you qualify.
Some employers use applicant tracking systems to handle resume submissions. This software scans resumes and submits those that contain certain keywords. An objective statement is a great place to include some of these keywords, which will help you move onto the next phase of the hiring process.
You can use your objective statement to highlight some of your strengths. For example, you have worked for 20 years as a marketing professional, spending a few years at five different companies. If an employer reviews your resume, they may need to spend some time determining how much experience you have. By writing “Marketing professional with 20+ years of experience looking to join a growing software development company” at the top of your resume, you quickly highlight one of your biggest strengths.
How to write a great objective statement
Here is how you can write an objective statement that will gain the attention of recruiters and hiring managers:
1. Study the job description
Each time you apply for a job, change your objective statement to fit the job description. Learn more about the company and what they are looking for in a candidate. When describing your career ambitions, make sure they are possible at that company.
Hiring managers like to see that you’ve done some research and thought carefully about whether you’re a good fit for their open position. They also want to see that you’ll be a fit for them long-term and that your career goals are something you can achieve with them.
2. Find your unique qualities
Next, think about what makes you unique as a candidate. Write some personality traits or experience you have that makes you a good fit for that specific job. For example, if you’re applying for a sales job, you could include words like “motivated,” “ambitious” or “self-starter.”
3. Be concise
Your objective statement should only be one or two sentences. Your goal is to quickly state why you want this job and why they should continue to read your application materials. You can use the rest of your resume to explain your skills and experiences.
4. Place it near the top
Since the goal of your objective statement is to gain attention from hiring managers, you need it in a prominent spot on your resume. A great place for your objective statement is right underneath your name and contact information.
5. Format it correctly
Besides placing the objective statement on the top of your resume, you can also format it to help it stand out. Some options include making the text bold or italicized, changing the text size or font from the rest of your resume, highlighting it or placing it within a shaded box. Try out different formatting options within your current resume to see which style works best for you. You want a noticeable objective statement without it distracting from the other elements on the page.
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Objective statement examples
Here are some objective statement examples that you can use as a guide when creating your own:
Recent graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in English looking for a job as an administrative assistant. Hoping to join an established company where I can put my communication and organizational skills to good use.
Ambitious and friendly salesman looking to join Company Xavier as their newest sales associate
Hard-working cashier with knowledge of POS systems seeking a role with Marina Bay as a cashier leader
Marketing professional with 15+ years of experience leading teams. Searching for a large role within a startup.
Passionate teacher of 20 years looking for a new challenge by joining Mark’s Supplies as their newest training manager
Hoping to join Jimmy’s Heating and Cooling as their newest certified HVAC technician
Customer support representative with 5 years experience in a high-volume call center
Skilled software engineer who enjoys being part of a team. I want to help Bob’s Strawberry Delivery Group develop the latest and best software on the market
Project manager with exceptional organizational and leadership qualities looking to take my career to the next level at Moonstream
Having created more than 50 websites as a freelance web designer, I am now looking to continue my career at an established web design firm
Resume summary vs. objective:
A resume summary is a short description of your qualifications that explain why you're a good fit for the role.
Example: Maintenance Mechanic
Analytically-driven Maintenance Mechanic with 5+ years of experience focusing on the intricacies of equipment and instrumentation.
Highly adaptable and dedicated to producing error-free results, safe working. conditions, and quality service.
A resume objective is a brief statement that communicates your career goals, such as the type of job or industry you want to work in.
Example: Assistant Manager
Objective to be hired as an Assistant Manager position with an innovative employer in the manufacturing industry.
Preferably, said position has opportunity for advancement with demonstrated excellence.
Do you need an objective statement on your resume?
Objective statements can help hiring managers quickly review your resume and determine if you’re a good fit for the role. However, not everyone includes an objective statement on their resumes. Here are some ideal times for including an objective statement on your resume:
You’re an entry-level candidate with little professional experience.
You recently moved to a new location.
You have decided to make a career change.
In these scenarios, including an objective statement allows you to offer a sum of your qualifications, skills and abilities as they relate to the open role.
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