A resume objective is a one- to two-sentence opportunity to let employers know that your skills and talents align with the requirements of their open position.
A well-written resume objective statement can add value and set your resume apart from other applicants. This short paragraph shows employers you’ve clearly defined your professional goals and have the necessary skills to excel in the position you’re applying for.
Here are a few tips to help you write a meaningful, memorable resume objective that will encourage hiring managers to continue reading your resume.
What is a resume objective?
A resume objective is a one to two sentence summation of your short-term professional goals and explanation of why you’re seeking employment. Often this phrase is placed at the top of your resume to capture the hiring manager’s attention. Also sometimes referred to as a career objective, resume summary or objective statement, this short summary should make a strong case for why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Related: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice
Who should include a resume objective?
A resume objective statement is a great way to help your resume stand out no matter your professional level or background. However, there are a few cases when including an objective is particularly helpful:
- You are new to the job market. If you’re a new graduate with little to no previous experience or entering the job market for the first time, including an objective helps the hiring manager understand how your career plans align with their job opening.
- You are making a career change. If your career experience is outside the industry you’re currently applying to, an objective statement can clarify your goals and touch on why you’re making the change.
- You are moving to a new geographic area. If you’re planning a move to a new city, your current address may confuse the hiring manager. By noting your plans in your resume objective, you can avoid being disqualified for living out-of-town.
How to write a powerful objective for a resume
Consider your resume objective the introduction to your resume. Your resume objective may be the first thing your potential future employer ever reads about you, so you want to make sure it’s both powerful and to-the-point.
Here are a few best practices to boost the effectiveness of your objective statement:
- Keep it concise. In most cases, a recruiter or hiring manager is sifting through several resumes at a time to determine which applicants have the skills and experience necessary to move on to the next step in the hiring process. By making your resume objective short and strong, you will be more successful in holding their attention. Try removing filler words, such as ‘a’, ‘the’, and ‘like’. This helps keep the reader focused on the most important parts of your resume.
- Tailor it to the position. Instead of writing a general objective statement, adapt it specifically for the job you’re applying for. Start by reading the job description and highlighting skills or requirements that align with your strongest attributes or experiences. When you include an objective that’s specific to the job role, the recruiter is more likely to dig deeper and learn more details about your professional experience.
- Set the stage for the rest of your resume. Just as great stories include a captivating hook, your resume objective should immediately grab the reader’s attention. By highlighting a few essential skills and your current goals, you give the recruiter or hiring manager a taste of what’s to come in the rest of your resume.
- Lead with your strongest attributes. Consider strengths that are not only relevant to the job role, but also attributes you’re proud to share. For example, “Organized and driven,” “Dedicated and experienced,” “Motivated team player” or “Accomplished leader.”
- Note any licenses, certifications or degrees relevant to the position. While your education experience will be listed elsewhere on your resume, including any important certifications or degrees in your resume objective can more immediately put you in a good position with the employer. This is especially important to include if you’re new to the job market or you’re changing careers or industries.
- Describe how you’ll add value as an employee. The top thing hiring managers want to know when they decide whether or not to move someone on to the next step is what value they will bring to the organization. Clearly stating your value propositions increases your chance of moving forward over another candidate of the same experience level, for example. This would be a good place to note your ambition, work ethic, history of success or unique skills.
Related Article: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter
Resume Objective Examples
To help you craft your resume objective statement, consider these examples:
New graduate/entering the job market for the first time:
“I am a highly driven recent business school graduate seeking a full-time position in finance where I can lend my knowledge of market analytics to help your organization improve profitability.”
“I am a motivated team player and aspiring fashion buyer with proven communications skills seeking to grow my knowledge of the couture industry and use my conversational skills as a junior retail associate for your women’s formal wear boutique.”
Career or industry change:
“Dedicated and experienced accounting professional with proven success managing finances for mid-size commercial organizations. Seeking an opportunity to use my decade of experience to serve the state government.”
“Accomplished leader in marketing communications seeking a new career path with a nonprofit organization. I am looking for an opportunity where I can use apply my passion for philanthropy and use my professional experience to drive positive change in my community.”
Moving to a new geographic area:
“Current kitchen manager with more than ten years experience in the restaurant industry seeking to begin a sous chef position when I relocate to Chicago in September. I am eager to apply my culinary skills and grow my experience as part of an established institution.”
Related Article: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your Resume Stand Out
Seeking advancement in the industry:
“I am an organized and driven administrative professional with more than seven years experience in the automotive industry. Seeking an opportunity to use my team management skills as an office manager in your fast-growing car dealership.”
“I am a driven and ambitious sales professional with a proven history of exceeding goals and achieving high client satisfaction ratings. I am seeking a sales manager position with a fast-growing technology company where I can marry my enthusiasm for relationship-building and my passion for innovation.”
“As a public educator with nearly two decades of experience in K–12, I am seeking the opportunity to serve as a high school principal in my local community. I am eager to use my proven leadership skills to continue the district’s legacy of quality education and help prepare students for future success.”
Although a resume objective is only one or two sentences long, make sure it showcases why you’re applying for the job, what values you offer and why a hiring manager should be interested in getting to know you better. By crafting a compelling objective statement, you can help make it easier for employers to remember you and get one step closer toward landing your new job.