Including a resume objective statement on your resume can help clarify your intentions to employers. Plus, it can help to show why you are a good fit for the job! In this guide, we will be covering exactly what a resume objective statement is, when to use one, and how to write it effectively.
A resume objective statement is a short sentence that tells the employer your intentions for submitting the resume.
Typically, the resume objective will directly state the position you are seeking and one or two main goals you hope to achieve.
It is important to not confuse the resume objective for a professional summary.
A professional summary is often more in-depth and preferable in certain scenarios.
We will cover when to use professional summaries more later in this guide.
Are you unsure where to start with writing your resume?
Take a look at our guide on How to Write the Perfect Resume (with Examples)!
Resume objective statements have become a somewhat controversial topic.
Some say you should always include a resume objective, while others see the practice as outdated and unnecessary.
To determine whether or not you should use a resume objective, let’s first examine exactly what value an objective statement can add to your resume.
The most important role the resume objective plays is introducing the resume to the hiring manager.
This statement can be a good opportunity to make your resume memorable.
It is also an opportunity to use compelling language to hook the employer and keep their attention as they skim through your information.
This can be especially helpful if you are facing a high level of competition for a role.
The caveat here is that jobs with high competition will often have hiring managers looking for very succinct and concise resumes.
This makes it all the more important to keep your objective statement as short as possible.
There are four key scenarios when using a resume objective is ideal. These are as follows:
Many people dismiss the resume objective as unnecessary due to it often being poorly written.
When you are including a resume objective statement, you need to take the time to ensure it sounds good a serves an apparent purpose.
Consider the following big 3 C’s when writing your resume objective:
In terms of what to include in a resume objective, you want to keep it as short and simple as possible.
The following four pieces of information should generally be included:
Pro Tip: The skills you include can impact the overall effectiveness of your resume. Take a look at our list of 100+ Key Skills for a Resume in 2021 (with Examples for any Job).
We have covered the four key reasons to use a resume objective.
Now, let’s look at some examples of objective statements for each of these circumstances. For
When applying to a job with a high level of competition, look for the keywords that will help your objective statement stand out.
Here are two examples of resume objectives for this scenario:
Example 1: Highly motivated and eager professional looking for an entry-level sales position. Skilled in both independent and team-oriented projects with a strong background in leadership.
Example 2: Software Developer with over 5 years of experience working with programming languages, such as Python and JAVA. Earned an award for programming excellence for a self-lead development lifecycle project.
Switching careers can be difficult, especially if your previous job titles do not reflect apparent relevance to your new field.
Here are two examples of resume objectives for career changers:
Example 1: Freelance Content Writer seeking a corporate copywriting position. Has worked with over 50 different clients and written content for 100+ websites. Completed 10 case studies wherein each client received a new content strategy that tripled their web traffic and online business volume.
Example 2: Restaurant Manager with over 5 years experience handling beer and wine orders. Highly familiar with local restaurant owners and seeking to leverage these relationships as the new beer and wine distributor for your company.
Whether you are returning to the workforce or newly entering it, a resume objective statement can help you explain your employment gaps.
Here are two examples of resume objectives for applicants with limited work experience:
Example 1: Highly driven recent grad with a double degree in finance and engineering. Seeking an opportunity to develop a career as a DevOps engineer to help financial institutions deliver software at greater speed.
Example 2: Attentive and hardworking professional looking for opportunity to provide excellent customer service. Former full-time caretaker seeking re-entry to the workforce and focused on furthering my professional growth.
Whenever you are relocating, it is important to make note of this on your resume.
A resume objective can be the perfect place to do so.
Here are two more resume objective examples for applicants who are relocating:
Example 1: Current Head Chef of a fine-dining establishment who is relocating to Atlanta in June. Seeking employment at a high-end restaurant and bringing more than 10 years of experience operating and managing a kitchen staff of over 30 members.
Example 2: Attentive and highly organized administrator relocating to Portland, Oregon in December. Seeking employment as a personal administrator to a CEO. I am bringing 10+ years of experience creating and managing schedules, making travel arrangements, and bookkeeping.
The level of experience you hold will affect your entire resume.
Generally speaking, resume objective statements can be used for all sorts of different resumes so long as they are written well and relevant.
The difference between objective statements according to experience level comes down to what you are bringing to the table.
With entry-level positions, you may want to emphasize your key skills.
Comparatively, for higher-level positions, it may be more useful to emphasize your achievements.
In this section, we will cover how to optimize your resume objective for differing levels of experience.
For entry-level positions, the goal of the resume objective should be to highlight your strengths and downplay your lack of experience.
You should not spend much time explaining your lack of experience.
Instead, you should emphasize how the experience and skills you do have qualify you for the position.
Recent graduate seeking employment in an entry-level position. What I lack in experience I make up for in work ethic and motivation.
Why It’s Wrong: While this objective statement does highlight some of the applicant’s skills, it spends too much time emphasizing that the person is new to the workforce.
Highly-driven recent journalism school graduate seeking a full-time position as a daily news reporter. Excellent self-starter and very capable of working independently and within teams. Former chief editor of university newspaper.
This corrected example highlights skills, identifies a specific role the applicant is seeking, and provides specific examples of past achievements.
This version is much more attention-grabbing and memorable.
Intermediate-level jobs can include roles that require higher levels of certification or specialization.
In their objectives, applicants should emphasize projects and qualifications that make them stand apart from the competition.
Professional seeking a continued career in data analysis. Many years of experience working in the field with several corporate projects under my belt.
Why It’s Wrong: This is example is far too vague. Additionally, the applicant refers to themselves as a professional rather than as their current job title. For intermediate-level applicants, clearly representing yourself and your brand clearly is key.
Data Analyst with over 7 years of experience working with corporate clients. Highly proficient in mathematics and statistics. Performed regular market analyses that boosted client sales by 35 percent.
Here we can see that the applicant provides more quantifiable examples of their successes in the role as a data analyst. They have included both a specific amount of years of experience and exact achievements.
In general, for higher-lever positions you should use a professional summary rather than an objective statement.
However, an objective statement can still do the trick if phrased properly.
When writing a resume objective for a high-level position, such as management or C-suite jobs, demonstrating your ability for leadership is key.
Seeking CEO position at a Big Four accounting company. Hoping to bring my many years of experience to the table to help improve business functions and boost revenue.
Why It’s Wrong: When applying to a high-level position, it is important to write with as much authority as possible. This example fails to do so by using weak verbiage and vague value propositions.
Seeking a company in need of strong and competent leadership. Bringing over 20 years of experience maximizing revenue, boosting productivity, and facilitating greater business-wide satisfaction.
This example is written with much greater authority and is, thus, much more effective.
Are you trying to write a resume with little to no work experience to show?
Read our guide on How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience (with Examples).
A resume objective statement may not be ideal for every candidate. If this is the case for you, consider one of the following alternatives:
The most commonly used alternative to the resume objective is the professional summary.
Here are 3 pros and 3 cons of resume summaries to help you decide if a summary will fit your needs better than an objective:
Need to know exactly how to write a resume summary? Check out our guide on How to Write a Resume Summary with 10+ Examples!
When including an objective statement on your resume, you need to be mindful of its purpose and your intention. If the objective adds no extra value to the resume, it may be better to omit it.
Here are 4 key takeaways for writing your ideal resume objective:
While you’re here, check out our 20 Best Resume Writing Tips and Tricks (with a Free Checklist)! At Easy Resume, we have tons of helpful (and FREE) resume guides to help you land an interview for your dream job.
Ed is a co-founder of Easy Resume. His background in scaling teams at tech startups over the last decade has given him extensive experience and knowledge around how to hire top talent and build successful teams. He enjoys mentoring, coaching, and helping others reach their career goals. When he's not writing about career-related advice, he's playing with his dog, Lilo, or going on long hikes in upstate New York.
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