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Objectives

What Is A Resume Objective?

A resume objective, also known as a career objective or objective statement, is a brief remark that appears at the top of a resume, typically just below the contact information. Its purpose is to provide a quick overview of your career goals and to outline how your skills, experiences, and ambitions align with the position you are applying for.

By articulating your aspirations and how they intersect with the company’s objectives, a well-crafted resume objective does more than personalize your application—it establishes a direct link between your potential contributions and the employer’s goals. This includes:

          • Outlines your career ambitions and what you aim to achieve in the role.
          • Clarifies the mutual benefits of your employment, emphasizing how the position aligns with your career development goals.
          • Illustrates your potential impact on the organization by leveraging the learning and growth opportunities the role offers.

The objective statement is often tailored to the specific job or industry you are targeting, highlighting your relevant qualifications and expressing your interest in the role and the company.

While resume objectives used to be more common, many job seekers now opt for a professional summary or profile statement that focuses more on what they can offer to the employer rather than what they are looking for in a job.

However, resume objectives can still be effective, especially for those with limited work experience, those making a career change, or when applying to a role that closely matches your skills and goals.

Resume Objective Statement Example

Here’s an example breakdown of a resume objective statement to show you just exactly what each part entails:

“Driven and personable high school graduate keen to expand my sales and management expertise as a sales associate within a dynamic retail setting. Former class president with a proven track record in event planning, team collaboration, and leadership. Boasts strong interpersonal and communication abilities.”

Key Components of an Resume Objective:

As you can see, this resume objective example is broken down into the following components:

          • Applicant’s background:Driven and personable high school graduate
          • Target position:sales associate
          • Career aspirations:keen to expand my sales and management expertise
          • Relevant skills and experiences:event planning, team collaboration, and leadership. Strong interpersonal and communication abilities

 

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Resume Objective vs. Resume Summary

Resume Objective vs. Resume Summary

A resume objective is often geared towards job seekers who are entering a new field, changing careers, or have gaps in their employment history, while a resume summary is tailored for individuals with a substantial amount of experience in a particular field.

With a resume objective, you will highlight your interests and goals for your next job, typically conveying a desire to grow and how your skills can contribute to the company’s goals. It’s a proactive way to highlight your ambition and readiness to contribute, turning potential weaknesses into strengths.

In contrast, a resume summary concisely overviews your career achievements, highlighting your expertise, skills, and the value you can bring to a potential employer. This places an emphasis on proven results and professional milestones that should stand out to the reader.

It’s more about demonstrating how you can meet the employer’s needs, focusing less on your own career goals and more on what you bring to the table.

To better understand the differences, realize that a resume objective should include:

          • Your career goals and how they align with the company’s objectives.
          • Relevant skills or experiences that can benefit the role you’re applying for, even if they’re from different industries.
          • A forward-looking perspective, focusing on what you aim to accomplish.

A resume summary, on the other hand, should feature:

          • A brief overview of your professional history.
          • Key accomplishments with quantifiable results, if possible.
          • Specific skills and expertise that make you a standout candidate for the position.

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Resume Objective Examples

When Do You Use A Resume Objective?

Use a resume objective when you’re navigating significant milestones such as graduating, changing careers, moving geographically, or returning to the workforce.

A resume objective provides a platform to align your past achievements and future ambitions with the expectations of prospective employers, showcasing your passionate interest in the role. Below, are some examples to give you a better idea:

For Entry-Level Applicants

Entering the workforce might mean limited formal experience, but often, there’s a wealth of skills and knowledge gained through internships, volunteer efforts, and academic pursuits. A resume objective is ideal here as it enables you to:

          • Frame your informal experiences in relation to the job.
          • Highlight your ambition to grow professionally within the role.

Associate Engineer Resume Objective:

“As a recent engineering graduate, I’m eager to land an entry-level Associate Engineer position where I can leverage my construction engineering and management knowledge. My goal is to lead projects and contribute to your company’s growth with my organization, analytical, and creative problem-solving skills.”

Jr. Graphic Designer Resume Objective:

“Creative and innovative graphic designer with a year of rebranding experience seeks a Junior Graphic Designer role. My proficiency in Photoshop and Illustrator, coupled with a collaborative spirit, has driven successful branding initiatives. I’m passionate about bringing my skills to your team and contributing to impactful brand development.”

Social Media Coordinator Resume Objective:

“Aiming for a Social Media Coordinator position to utilize my internship and fellowship experiences in content creation and brand voice development. Proficient in Youtube, TikTok, Reddit, Instagram, and Twitter, I’m skilled in crafting engaging digital media across various formats.”

For Career Changers

A career pivot without context might raise eyebrows. The resume objective clarifies your motivations and demonstrates how your diverse background is a strength, not a concern, by:

          • Detailing your interest in the new role and the reasons behind your application.
          • Relating your past experiences to the new role’s requirements.
          • Showcasing how your unique skills fulfill the job’s demands.

UX Designer Resume Objective:

“Transitioning from a bilingual customer service representative, I’m poised to embark on a UX Designer career. My goal is to enhance customer satisfaction through user-centric designs and feedback-driven improvements. With certification and hands-on project experience, I’m ready to contribute innovative ideas and a fresh perspective.”

Registered Nurse Resume Objective:

“As a new graduate nurse targeting pediatric unit opportunities, my background as an elementary school teacher underscores my compassion and aptitude for working with children. I’m committed to learning and excelled in my accelerated nursing program, as evidenced by commendations during my clinical rotations.”

Food and Beverage Resume Objective:

“Seeking a Food and Beverage Manager position to elevate my eight years of bar management experience to a broader leadership role within the hospitality industry. Pursuing a Food and Beverage Executive Certification to further enhance my qualifications.”

Returning to the Workforce

Career gaps can be a red flag unless properly addressed. A resume objective helps by:

          • Explaining the reasons behind the employment gap.
          • Positioning your time away from the workforce as a period of skill development relevant to the new job.

Project Manager Resume Objective:

“Returning to the workforce after a career break for family care, I’ve honed my organizational and time management skills. These are directly applicable to the Project Manager role at your university, where I can apply my expertise in managing complex, multifaceted projects.”

Retail Sales Associate Resume Objective:

“Motivated to reenter retail as a Sales Associate, I bring extensive customer service experience and a strong sales background. My hiatus for personal recovery has only strengthened my commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.”

Preschool Teacher Resume Objective:

“Aspiring to join your Montessori school as a Preschool Teacher, my recent education and practical experience with diverse learning needs positions me as an ideal candidate. My project on parental involvement and certifications in first aid make me a well-rounded educator.”

When Relocating

Despite the rise of remote work, local candidates often have an edge.

Address potential biases upfront with a resume objective that:

          • Explains your relocation motives.
          • Assures commitment to the region and the role.

Email Marketing Manager Resume Objective:

“Bringing over a decade of successful retail email marketing campaigns, I’m relocating to Los Angeles and seeking to contribute my expertise to your growing business.”

Accountant Resume Objective:

“Seeking an Accountant position in Portland to be closer to family. My grant management experience and meticulous budget reporting are assets I look forward to bringing to your team.”

Technical Support Resume Objective:

“Relocating to North Carolina for family reasons, I aim to continue my career in IT technical support. My background in healthcare support and customer service equips me to enhance your IT operations.”

High School Graduates

Fresh out of high school, a resume objective can:

          • Highlight community service, part-time jobs, and extracurricular activities.
          • Map school-developed skills to job requirements.

Day Care Assistant Resume Objective:

“Seeking a Day Care Assistant role to leverage my babysitting experience and certifications. My enthusiasm for childcare and commitment to safety make me an ideal candidate.”

Teacher’s Aide Resume Objective:

“Aspiring to support Lincoln School as a Teacher’s Aide while completing my education degree. I’m eager to contribute to a creative and supportive learning environment.”

Customer Service Representative Resume Objective:

“Ready to excel as a Customer Service Representative, bringing patience, communication skills, and a willingness to learn. I’m committed to delivering outstanding service and support.”

College Graduates

For recent college grads, a resume objective can:

          • Emphasize internships, coursework, and campus involvement.
          • Align academic achievements with job requirements.

Medical Research Assistant Resume Objective:

“Eager to apply my cell biology and microbiology background to a Medical Research Assistant role. My internship and research assistant experiences have prepared me to contribute to your clinical trials.”

Account Manager Resume Objective:

“New business graduate aiming for an Account Manager position in digital media. My internship experience and analytical skills, coupled with a flexible approach, position me to contribute to your sales team.”

Social Worker Resume Objective:

“Dedicated to starting my social work career in case management, leveraging my internships and volunteer work. My background provides a solid foundation for making a meaningful impact in the lives of those in need.”

How To Write A Resume Objective

A resume objective statement will only be as good as you make it, so knowing how to write one is key!

With a well-written objective, you provide yourself the opportunity to showcase your best skills and interests in the position.

Structure Your Objective Thoughtfully

Your resume objective should be broken down into sentences that logically build off one another and clearly demonstrate your interest in the position.

This can be accomplished as such:

          • First Sentence: Begin by presenting yourself and addressing any potential resume concerns—such as career gaps, a career pivot, or limited formal experience—in a manner that turns these into advantages for both you and the prospective employer. For instance, illustrate how a career break to care for a family member has equipped you with pertinent skills or how recent academic pursuits have prepared you for the job.
          • Second Sentence: Clearly state the role you’re aiming for and your objectives at the company. Ensure these goals are achievable within the company’s framework to demonstrate your focus on the position.
          • Third Sentence: Conclude with a strong connection between your unique experiences and the job requirements, preferably using measurable achievements. For example, highlight the efficiency of managing medical schedules or the impact of dietary changes you implemented, supported by quantifiable outcomes.

Incorporate Keywords from the Job Description

Leverage applicant tracking systems (ATS) by embedding job ad keywords into your objective. These are often highlighted or repeatedly mentioned in the ad and are crucial for passing the initial ATS screening. Weave these keywords naturally into your objective and throughout your resume for consistency.

Resume Objective Example for a Cashier Position:

“Customer service adept, excited to apply my skillset in a retail setting, honed through volunteer experiences handling transactions and customer interactions. Ready to contribute to XYZ Pharmacy’s team in Los Angeles, ensuring a smooth checkout experience for every customer.”

Personalize Your Objective

The objective is your chance to convey your enthusiasm for the role and to introduce your personality. Mention relevant hobbies or interests and explain how these have prepared you for the job.

SEO Writer Resume Objective Example:

“Passionate SEO writer with a decade in crafting content for the retail and travel sectors, eager to bring my expertise to your travel website. Active in travel communities, I’m keen to share unique insights and tips with your audience.”

Showcase Quantifiable Achievements

Highlight how your experiences can add value to the company with specific, quantifiable results from your past work or projects, especially if they’re related to the role you’re applying for.

SEM Manager Resume Objective Example:

“Dedicated SEM manager aiming to foster a data-centric approach within your marketing team. Successfully established and led a data-driven SEM initiative, resulting in a 56% revenue increase in the first quarter.”

Highlight Relevant Certifications

Certifications, licenses, or specialized training relevant to the job can set you apart. Make sure to prominently feature these qualifications in your objective.

Cook Resume Objective Example:

“Certified in plant-based nutrition, I am a versatile cook excited to enrich your catering service with my culinary creativity and five years of diverse cuisine experience, promising exceptional service and adaptability.”

Express Your Connection to the Company

A genuine interest in the company’s mission, culture, or goals can be a strong selling point. If your values align with the company’s, mention this in your objective to show your enthusiasm and potential cultural fit.

Architect Resume Objective Example:

“As an architect deeply committed to urban development and public safety, I am eager to apply over a decade of experience and my passion for social change to your nonprofit’s projects, inspired by my own background in a working-class immigrant family.”

By following these steps and tailoring your resume objective to reflect both your personal journey and the specific role, you’ll set a strong foundation for your job application, signaling to employers your readiness and fit for the position.

Good vs. Bad Resume Objectives

These examples illustrate how to craft a resume objective for a high school graduate venturing into their first sales associate role, drawing on sales and customer service skills acquired from fundraising activities. The aim is to effectively highlight these skills in the opening statement.

Bad Resume Objective

"I am on the lookout for a new opportunity and have a keen interest in the cashier and sales associate roles you offer. I aim to further develop my customer service and financial management abilities."

Good Resume Objective

"As a recent high school graduate, I am eager to contribute to your team in an entry-level cashier and sales role. With two years of hands-on experience in sales and cashier duties from various school-led fundraising initiatives, I am ready to enhance my proficiency in customer service, financial transactions, and the promotion of products. I am enthusiastic about building upon my foundational skills in a professional setting and contributing positively to customer experiences."

Why the first example is bad:

          • It fails to provide the hiring manager with meaningful insights about the candidate.
          • The statement starts by stating the obvious — the applicant is job-seeking, which is self-evident since they’ve applied.
          • The candidate mentions a desire to improve skills that are typically expected of a sales associate, offering no unique value proposition.
          • It lacks specifics on how the candidate’s previous experiences make them a suitable fit for the role, leaving the hiring manager with no compelling reason to consider them.

Why the second example is good:

          • It offers a clear and comprehensive view of the applicant’s background and aspirations.
          • It specifies the applicant’s recent graduation and interest in an entry-level position, indicating a readiness to start their career journey.
          • The candidate clearly outlines their relevant experience, suggesting they would require less training than someone without any background in sales or cashier work.
          • By acknowledging their eagerness to advance their skills while on the job, the applicant demonstrates a proactive and growth-oriented mindset.

Key Takeaways

          • Resume objectives offer a strategic pitch that showcases your career goals, core competencies, and alignment with an employer’s needs.
          • They are particularly beneficial for recent graduates, career changers, or those re-entering the job market, emphasizing potential contributions and employer goals.
          • The choice between a career objective and a summary statement depends on your career stage and specific job application circumstances.
          • Effective resume objectives should be concise, personalized, and include quantifiable achievements to demonstrate value to potential employers.
          • Scenarios for using a resume objective include entry-level positions, career changes, re-entering the workforce, relocating, and educational transitions.
Pro Tip:

Use a resume summary when possible, a resume objective when needed. This is because employers are more interested in what you offer as qualified candidate.

FAQ

Updated: March 05, 2024

A resume objective statement is a brief paragraph at the top of a resume that outlines your career goals and highlights your most relevant skills, experiences, and reasons for applying for a specific job. It is typically 2-3 sentences long and is aimed at summarizing your professional aspirations and what you bring to the table for a potential employer.

The necessity of an objective statement on a resume has become a topic of debate. While it’s not strictly necessary for every resume, it can be beneficial in certain situations. For example, if you are changing careers, are a recent graduate with limited work experience, or have a specific goal in alignment with the job you’re applying for, an objective statement can clarify your intentions and make your application stand out.

To write an effective objective statement:

  • Be specific about your career goals and how they align with the company’s objectives.
  • Highlight your most relevant skills or experiences that would benefit the employer.
  • Tailor the statement for each job application to reflect how you can meet the specific needs of the position.
  • Keep it concise and focused, ideally no more than two or three sentences.

Yes, many job seekers choose to use a summary statement instead of an objective. A summary statement focuses on your qualifications and achievements rather than your career goals. It’s especially useful for individuals with a significant amount of work experience, as it allows them to showcase their expertise and professional highlights. Choosing between an objective and a summary depends on your career stage and goals.

Here are a few examples tailored to different situations:

For a recent graduate: "Recent graduate with a Bachelor's in Business Administration seeking an entry-level position in marketing where I can leverage my internship experience in social media campaigns and my passion for analytics to contribute to the growth of ABC Company."

For a career changer: "Experienced teacher transitioning to corporate training, aiming to leverage extensive background in curriculum development and instructional design to enhance employee training programs at XYZ Corporation."

For a specific position: "Seasoned software developer with over 10 years of experience in developing scalable web applications, seeking to leverage my expertise in modern JavaScript frameworks to contribute to the innovative projects at Tech Innovations Inc."

Your resume objective must be informative but brief. Ideally, this is a two- to three-sentence statement outlining your professional goals, experience and relevant skills. We know it’s tempting to flesh out this section and include additional details, but your resume objective is just one section of your resume. Keep it brief.

Here are a few common mistakes that you can make while writing your resume’s objective statement.

Focusing too much on yourself: The original intent of a resume objective was to indicate your needs, expectations and requirements from the job. However, it evolved with modern resume-writing practices and now looks at your potential employment partnership with the hiring manager and company. Your resume objective should focus on what both you and the company can gain from hiring you.

Using weak action verbs: Take a proactive approach and avoid the passive voice or weak action verbs in your resume objective. You didn’t “help organize sporadic sales events,” you “organized monthly sales events that increased profit margins by 17%.” You need to be honest on your resume, but it’s OK to hype your skills and assert your value.

Using a resume objective instead of a summary statement: We mentioned that a resume objective is best for entry-level workers, recent grads, career changers and reentries to the workforce. If you’re not one of these job seekers, you’re much better off using a summary statement that lets you highlight your career success. 

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Conor McMahon, CPRW

Conor McMahon, CPRW

Content Writer

Conor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) for Hloom.com. He has over three years of professional writing experience as well as experience in professional development training. As a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) Conor has written on career development topics ranging from resume and cover letter best practices, employer/employee communication, job seeking help, and more. He received his degree in Music Industry at Northeastern University and plays guitar in his free time.

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