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A well-written resume objective helps personalize your resume and create connections between your qualifications and the needs of an open job.
A resume objective statement is the first impression an employer has of you when reviewing your resume. If you want to wow employers, learn how to write this crucial section with the help of our how-to guide, tips and career objective examples.
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The career objective statement is a key section at the top of your resume that tells the employer what you hope to achieve in the role for which you are applying. It also summarizes your best professional accomplishments and goals.
A good resume objective helps to personalize your resume, create connections between your qualifications and the needs of the open job, and directly appeals to hiring managers by showing you have the skills and enthusiasm they’re looking for.
Enthusiastic and charismatic high school graduate eager to develop my sales and management skills as a sales associate in a challenging retail environment. Class president and president of NHS experienced in event planning, logistics, teamwork and delegating. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
Applicant's job title/academic status
Position to which you're applying
Professional goals within the company
Professional skills or relevant experience
The career objective accomplishes this by doing the following:
Although the resume objective statement is not as common as the resume summary statement, it should be used by certain job candidates, among them recent graduates, those changing careers and job seekers with gaps in their work history because of extended absences. Use our guide to learn how to determine if a career objective statement is suitable for your job search needs, and how to write an interview-winning resume objective.
The most important first impression you can make to the potential employer is to start your resume with a strong introduction of your accomplishments. You can introduce yourself either with a resume career objective or a resume summary statement. Which one is right for you?A career objective can help you tackle potential “red flags” in your resume that shouldn’t go unaddressed. For example, a college graduate with no previous formal experience can seem like a less desirable candidate than someone who already has a couple of years of experience. However, a career objective can frame a negative into a positive since it:
A summary statement also compiles all your best qualities, skills and experience while focusing on meeting the employer’s professional requirements. However, summary statements are much more tailored to the employer’s needs, whereas an objective focuses on the applicant’s needs or ambitions.
Prioritizes informing employers of your career goals to better understand your reasons for applying, especially if you lack specific qualifications or experience.
States how the applicant’s skills and experience are the ideal fit for the role and how they can fulfill the company’s needs; it focuses on meeting the employer’s expectations.
Although we recommend that you write a summary statement rather than a resume objective, there are a few job-seeking instances when an objective statement helps you.
If you haven’t written a resume before or it’s been too long since you updated yours, our Resume Builder is a great tool that guides you through every step of the process and even offers advice on what to write in each section.
You can include a resume objective if you’re a recent graduate, changing careers, relocating, or reentering the workplace. The career objective can help you position your achievements in the proper context for the hiring manager and show your enthusiasm for the position. Our examples below show you how to provide that context and express your interest in the position.
1. Entry-level employee career objective statements
As someone freshly entering the workforce, it’s OK to have little to no formal experience. However, you probably have a plethora of acquired skills and knowledge from internships, volunteer work and education. A resume objective is perfect for you because it allows you to do the following:
Resume objective examples:
“Recent engineering graduate looking to obtain an entry-level associate engineer position. Eager to apply my expertise in construction engineering and management to lead construction projects and earn practical on-site experience to contribute to the growth of your company. I am highly organized, analytical and a creative problem solver with proficiency in Microsoft Office.
“Highly trained graphic designer with a year of experience in rebranding. As an outside-the-box creative with experience in Photoshop and Illustrator, I have collaborated with front-end developers to create an impactful brand. My expertise in branding and love for your products would make me a perfect addition to your team in the role of a Jr. graphic designer.”
“Social media coordinator with two internships and six months of experience in a fellowship program. Looking for a full-time position to help create a brand voice through content planning. Skilled user of Youtube, TikTok, Reddit, Instagram and Twitter with experience creating digital media in the form of text, audio, video and graphics.”
2. Career-change resume objective statements
Changing your career can look like a red flag without the proper context. This is where the resume objective will help you. Hiring managers might wonder if your previous experience applies to the open job, or if training or onboarding you will be a lengthier process than a similarly skilled candidate with relevant experience.
Here’s why an objective statement helps you more than a summary statement in this instance. You can:
Career objective examples:
“I am a creative, team player and problem solver with experience as a bilingual customer service representative, seeking to jumpstart a career as a UX designer. I’m interested in improving customer satisfaction for your company by testing innovative designs based on client feedback. While earning my certification, I worked in two real-world end-to-end projects, and now I’m ready to bring fresh ideas for creating a seamless user experience to your industry.”
“Recent registered nurse graduate looking for opportunities in pediatric units. My previous experience as an elementary school teacher illustrates I have the compassion, understanding and patience to work with children. An eager learner and problem solver, I excelled during my accelerated nursing program, as commended by the nursing staff during my practice in the Medical Center Hospital.”
“Experienced bartender seeking to become the next food and beverage manager at your hotel. I have eight years of experience as bar manager at Prestigious Bar Downtown. Looking for an opportunity in the hospitality industry with a larger management scope. Currently pursuing a Food and Beverage Executive Certification.”
3. Reentering the workforce resume objective statements
Resume writers, career coaches and hiring managers might warn you to avoid listing significant gaps in employment on your resume. Yet, there can be so many reasons to leave the workforce temporarily; raising children, caring for a family member, pursuing a new degree or taking a time-extensive career training program.
A resume objective helps you:
Resume objective examples:
“Experienced project manager, most recently taking a career hiatus to care for an ailing family member. During this time, I applied my time management and organizational skills to maintain all medical appointments and manage a multigenerational household with varying needs. This experience makes me perfectly suited for the project manager role within your university.”
“Seeking a position as a retail sales associate where I can use my excellent customer service skills and sales experience. I have extensive experience as a cashier. I’m a motivated team player with great communication skills, looking to reenter retail after a brief hiatus due to needing time to recover from an accident.”
“Recent preschool education graduate looking to join a Montessori school. Practical experience with preschoolers diagnosed with or exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, dyslexia, speech pathology and autism. Led graduation project on parent integration to the classroom. Highly organized and creative problem-solver, certified in first aid. My experience working with children, along with my teaching skills, make me a perfect fit for your preschool teacher position.
Check out our functional resume guide, which can help you craft an effective resume that highlights your skills and qualifications to reenter the workforce.
4. Relocating resume objective statements
Although there’s been a recent rise in remote working, most hiring managers still suffer from an unconscious distance bias and prefer to hire nearby job seekers. A resume objective can help you avoid getting disqualified from consideration by doing the following:
A resume objective helps you:
Resume objective examples:
“An experienced email marketing manager with over 10 years of planning and launching successful retail marketing campaigns with 42% open rates and 18% click-through participation. Soon to be moving to the Los Angeles region and eager to apply my retail experience to your growing business.”
“Accountant with seven years of experience looking for a position in the Portland, Ore. area to be closer to aging parents. Highly organized with experience in grant management, where I have fairly budgeted and accurately reported on public and private projects. Also open to positions as auditor.”
“Technical support specialist relocating to North Carolina due to military spouse’s final relocation. I have five years of experience in the help desk for a health care provider where I reduced wait time by 15%. Previous experience in customer service complements my attention to detail and effective communication skills. Seeking to continue a career in IT technical support”
5. High school graduate resume objective statement
If you recently graduated from high school, a resume objective statement can benefit you as much as it would a new entrant to the workforce. Although you may have some after-school work experience, it may seem small compared to your informal experience, volunteer work and school work. A resume objective can help:
Resume objective examples:
“Highly energetic employee seeking to enter the workforce as a day care assistant. I’m an eager and fast learner with patience for children. I am certified as a lifeguard and in first aid. I want to use my experience as a babysitter to start a career in early childhood.”
“Looking to join Lincoln School as a teacher’s aide as I complete my bachelor’s in early education. Eager to dive in shaping young minds through creative classroom activities while providing support to teachers, parents and students.”
“Eager and organized learner looking to enter the workforce as a customer service representative. Patient, multitasker and good communicator willing to learn more about the company and go the extra mile for customers.”
To learn more about crafting your resume, check out our High School Graduate resume guide.
6. College graduate resume objective statement
If you recently graduated from college, you might have a lot of relevant experience from your classes, internships, requirements and extracurricular activities linked to campus organizations, as well as some formal work experience. A resume objective can help you play up those experiences and align your qualifications with the open job requirements by:
Resume objective examples:
“Recent biology graduate with an emphasis on cell biology and microbiology. Internship experience with data analysis for a major medical laboratory’s clinical trials. Additional laboratory experience as a student research assistant for my university’s department head. Eager to apply my clinical and data skills to your medical research assistant position.”
“Recent business graduate looking to start a career in the digital media industry. I am flexible, a good communicator and highly analytical with internship experience under my belt. Seeking to join your company as its next account manager, where I’ll bring fresh ideas to sales.”
“Newly minted and highly organized social worker seeking to jump start career helping our most needy through case management. I have internships in two nonprofit organizations and do volunteer work on weekends with A Happy Home For Every Child. My personal life experiences through the system have helped mold me into an agent of change.”
If you decide that a resume objective is suitable for your resume, it’s time to dive in. We’ll show you the difference between poorly and well-written resume objectives, and explain where each version succeeded or failed to impress a hiring manager. We’ll also give you some helpful advice on properly writing a clear and interview-winning resume objective.
Let’s look at the steps to create an effective career objective.
1. Break down your career objective paragraph into sentences.
First sentence: Introduce yourself and the reason why a resume red flag (career gaps, career change or lack of formal experience) works in both your and the hiring manager’s favor. For example, explain how taking a break between jobs to care for a family member resulted in relevant personal experience or how you recently graduated with appropriate academic experience gained in a lab or research class.
Second sentence: Establish your desired role and your goals within the company. Keep these realistic and tied to actions you can achieve within the company. Sharing career ambitions in your resume objective that span beyond the company’s range, will make it seem like you’re not focused on the open position.
Third sentence: End strong and relate your seemingly unrelated experience to the job requirements by using quantifiable metrics. For example, suppose you organized medical appointments and dietary schedules for an ailing family member. In that case, you can note the percentage of times you arrived at appointments on time, how many alternate routes you planned in case of last-minute delays, or how someone’s health visibly improved once you implemented a new diet for the client. You can find additional advice on incorporating these metrics to your resume objective below.
2. Use job advertisement keywords
Most companies rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes and help shrink the pool of applicants. ATS can eliminate as many as half of the resumes it filters, so it’s essential to use resume keywords. These keywords are scattered throughout the job advertisement — you can identify these by scanning the ad for repeated duties and responsibilities that are emphasized in bold font or bulleted lists or for any tasks labeled as critical and use them to craft your resume objective.
It’s crucial to use these keywords organically in both your resume objective and throughout your resume. We’ll teach you how to write a tailored resume objective for the following sample cashier job ad, using the keywords we identified in bold print.
“Family-owned pharmacy is hiring Cashiers in Los Angeles, CA.
Pharmacy offers a full range of benefits including medical, dental, vision, 401(k), paid time off.
Cashier daily tasks include: operating a cash register, collecting customer payments, bagging merchandise and maintaining the checkout area.
Experience is not required for this Cashier position.
Get started with your Cashier application today!”
Resume objective example:
“Customer service professional eager to prove customer service abilities developed by collecting customer payments and bagging purchases from bake sale fundraisers.”
3. Personalize your objective statement for the job you want.
A resume objective is also your opportunity to share your interests and professional passions. Your resume will summarize your skills, education and experience, but this section is your only chance to write about why you’re applying to this job and let your personality shine through. You can talk about relevant hobbies, why you grew interested in that hobby, and how you can apply those learned skills to the open job.
SEO writer resume objective example:
“Talented copy and marketing SEO writer with over 12 years of experience in retail, travel and lifestyle industries eager to apply professional and personal experience to your travel site. As a member of various travel forums and memberships, I’m excited to share my accumulated experience and hacks to your customer base and community.”
4. Add quantifiable contributions.
Focus on how you can help the company and bring it to their attention in your career objective. You can best do this by defining how successful your related experience was. For example, suppose you’re interested in a job related to data analysis. In that case, you can detail well-graded projects from your introduction to data or advanced data analytics courses and your process for inspecting, cleaning and modeling the data.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Manager career objective example:
“Highly skilled search engine marketing manager looking to help establish data-driven departments at your marketing agency. Launched the first data-driven SEM branch at an established career-growth company, published new online sales pages, and saw financial growth of our job-seeking tools grow by 56% in the first quarter of launch.”
5. Include job-related certifications.
Regardless of your reason for writing a resume objective statement, you probably have plenty of related experience that can benefit both you and a hiring manager. You must highlight those skills in this section, as you don’t want to make the hiring manager dig for it in your resume and risk missing it. Here are some job-related certifications that you can feature in this section:
Cook resume objective example:
“Food service professional certified in plant-based nutrition looking for a new cook opportunity in your catering business. I’m a highly creative and organized professional with five years of experience in different cuisines. I will bring flexibility to your business and excellent customer service.”
6. Express your ties with the company.
Your connection to a company or genuine interest in a company’s ethical, cultural or financial goals can be equally important to landing a job interview as your skills and experience. If you’re interested in contributing to the growth or success of a company based on these reasons, you should mention it in your resume objective. Hiring managers can detect genuine interest and enthusiasm, which can be good for you if the company in question truly believes in its mission.
Architect career objective example:
“Experienced architect with over 10 years of volunteer experience in urban planning and development. Interested in working full-time creating safe spaces for the general public with your design nonprofit organization, and applying the same human rights and social change practices that benefited me as a child of working-class immigrants.”
These career objectives were written for a recent high school graduate applying to their first sales associate position. They have some sales and customer service experience from fundraising events and properly showcase this in their opening statement.
A poor career objective example:
“I’m seeking a new job and am very interested in your open cashier and sales associate position. I believe that I could benefit from perfecting my customer service skills and money managing skills.”
Why is this a poorly written career objective example? The hiring manager doesn’t learn anything new or beneficial about you.
An excellent resume objective example:
Sales associate with cashier experience
“A recent high school graduate interested in applying to your entry-level cashier and sales position. I have two years of informal experience in sales and cashier work through my extracurricular activities. Eager to expand on my existing experience in customer service, money handling and upselling of baked goods.”
Why is this a well-written resume objective example? The hiring manager learns quite a bit about this job seeker.
Our Resume Builder will help you create professional resume objective statementslike the ones in this guide. All you need to do is type in your desired job title and fill in some personal data regarding your years of experience, and our builder will help you write a customizable resume objective. Always make sure to go in and personalize it even more with exact skills, degrees, experience and qualifications.
Customer Service Representative
Social Media Coordinator
Whether or not you decide if a resume objective suits your current job-seeking needs, your resume needs a statement near the top of the page. This brief paragraph is your opportunity to add personality to this document. Think of it as a written elevator pitch — your resume objective or summary statement introduces your character, while your work experience and skills sections outline your accomplishments.
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.
We’ve mentioned the resume objective’s modern sibling, the summary statement, before. If you’re not a fresh graduate, a new worker, changing careers or reentering the workplace, we strongly recommend that you write a summary statement on your resume. Unlike the objective statement, which answers how both you and the hiring manager benefit from employing you, a summary statement does the following:
We cover how to write an appealing and convincing summary statement in our resume-writing guide.
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Gaby is Hloom’s resident writer, a certified professional resume writer (CPRW), and a baking enthusiast. She likes to defend the use of the functional resume to her friends in HR. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing and wrote about career growth, tech startups, education, fashion, travel and lifestyle culture throughout her career.