How to Write Your Resume Objective Statement in 2021

How to Write Your Resume Objective Statement in 2021

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.

Written by Ed Moss • Last updated on May 27, 2021

What is a Resume Objective Statement?

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 in 2021 (with Examples)!

Do I Have to Use a Resume Objective?

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Some say you should always include a resume objective, while others see the practice as outdated and unnecessary.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.

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When Should I Use a Resume Objective?

There are four key scenarios when using a resume objective is ideal. These are as follows:

  1. High Competition: A punchy and well-written resume objective can help you to set yourself apart from the competition. Making your resume as memorable as possible is always a good goal to strive towards.
  2. Career Change: If you are changing career paths, you may need to inform the employer why your work experience is not within the same field. A resume objective gives you a good opportunity to explain why you are changing fields or industries.
  3. Employment Gaps: If you have gaps in your work history, a resume objective can help you to provide more information about yourself. This is also helpful to students or recent grads who may not have had the opportunity to build up their work histories yet.
  4. Relocation: If you have recently moved or plan to move soon, a resume objective provides a good opportunity to inform an employer of your relocation.

How Do You Write a Strong Resume Objective?

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:

  • Clarity: Your resume objective should not be vague in any way. Clearly state your desired job title and goals.
  • Conciseness: Resume objectives are not meant to be very long. Stick to 1-2 simple sentences when writing your objective.
  • Customization: Always customize your objective statement for the job at hand. A generalized statement won’t do you much good and ultimately just wastes precious space.

What Do I Include in My 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:

  • The job title you are seeking
  • 2-4 key skills that you possess
  • A brief summary of your career goals
  • What you can bring to the company or hope to achieve at the company
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).
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What Are Some Examples of a Resume Objective?

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

Scenario 1: You are applying to a position with high competition for the job

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.

Scenario 2: You are switching careers

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.

Scenario 3: You have employment gaps or limited work experience

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.

Scenario 4: You are relocating and applying for a job in your new location

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.
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How do You Write a Resume Objective Based on Different Levels of Experience?

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.

Entry-Level

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.

Incorrect:

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.

Correct:

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

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.

Incorrect:

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.

Correct:

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.

High-Level

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.

Incorrect:

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.

Correct:

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 in 2021 (with Examples).

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What Are Alternatives to a Resume Objective

A resume objective statement may not be ideal for every candidate. If this is the case for you, consider one of the following alternatives:

  • Job Title Section: A brief section that describes your job title and experience. This option serves a similar purpose to the objective but is more succinct.
  • Professional Summary: A longer explanation of your professional skills, experience, and achievements. Typically 3-5 sentences in length, the professional summary is used to entice hiring managers to read the entire resume.
  • Branding Headline: A branding headline is a great option for freelancers and entrepreneurs looking to explain their brand or business rather than themselves as an individual.

Pros and Cons of a Resume Summary

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:

Pros

  • Gives you a good opportunity to hook the attention of the employer
  • Gives you more space than an objective statement to detail your qualifications
  • Is more standardly used, thus making it more likely to meet the expectations of the hiring manager

Cons

  • Takes up precious space, which can be detrimental if you are writing a one-page resume
  • Can easily become too wordy or repetitive, turning employers off from your resume
  • Can come across as pandering to the employer, rather than showcasing your best attributes

Need to know exactly how to write a resume summary? Check out our guide on How to Write a Resume Summary with 10+ Examples!

Final Takeaways

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:

  1. Remember the 3 C’s: clarity, conciseness, and customization
  2. Use specific and quantifiable examples
  3. Use compelling language and verbiage to hook the attention of the employer
  4. Keep it short – between 1-3 simple sentences

While you’re here, check out our 20 Best Resume Writing Tips and Tricks for 2021 (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 Moss is an author for Easy Resume

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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