Sample Resume Objectives
What is a resume objective?
A resume objective is a short, powerful statement at the top of your resume that tells the employer exactly how you will be of value to their organization. Given that employers scan each resume at lightning speed before deciding whether to read on or not, the objective maximizes your opportunity to grab their attention in those precious seconds.
In short, it's an introduction that provides an instant sense of how you would fit into the advertised role. If it works properly, it will get your resume looked at more closely.
Difference between an objective and a profile
It's simple: a profile talks about what you're looking for, while a resume objective talks about what the employer's looking for. The profile is about you, but the objective is about them.
This is a profile: Seeking a career with a progressive organization where I can utilize my skills, knowledge and experience in management, operations, purchasing and buying in a challenging role that allows for advancement and growth.
Yet this is a resume objective: Management position in procurement where over 10 years of experience will add value to operations.
The point is that the objective helps the employer to see exactly whether you could be the right employee in as short a time as possible. It is saying, "You're looking for a procurement manager? Here's how you'll benefit with this employee." By comparison, the profile invites the employer to think about a relationship where the employee's other needs and aims must be taken into consideration as well.
In other words, only the objective is targeted to the vacancy in question. It's not that either is right or wrong, just that the focus is in a different place, meaning they can be used at different times.
When to include a resume objective
Students applying for internships or trainee jobs can use objectives to show the recruiter what they stand to gain from a young applicant with little experience. Entry level applicants and recent graduates frequently use resume objectives, as they give a focus to a resume that doesn't yet include much work experience. The same goes for people with only one or two years of work experience.
People changing careers use objectives to show the employer what they can add to the organization, despite lack of directly relevant experience. Likewise, the resumes of people with very diverse experience will benefit from such added focus.
Those in creative careers, where the recent experience doesn't necessarily reflect the breadth of their creative abilities, use them to show how their creativity can be applied to gain results in the employer's area.
It's important to only include an objective statement when you are targeting a particular job, so that it can relate your skills and experience directly to that employer's needs.
When not to include a resume objective
Never use an objective when there are a number of potential positions for which you are qualified in the organization, even if these are not advertised, as it will limit your options. Never use one if you can't be specific about the job you're targeting.
Don't use an objective when your resume is to be used at a career fair, or be submitted to a website, an employment exchange, or when you wish to be considered for alternative positions within a company.
What to Write
If you do use a resume objective, make it very specific, not vague and meaningless. Think about the following:
- The name of the specific vacancy,
- The skills that relate to it, which can also be counted amongst your strengths, and
- The organization's needs and where these match your ability to deliver.
Now use the answers to the above construct to complete a sentence starting "my objective is…" or "my goal is…" (you don't actually need to include these words).
Always limit or avoid the use of personal pronouns (I, my, mine, etc.). Do not list your qualities and skills - remember, keep it short and punchy. Words and phrases to avoid include 'utilize my', 'to challenge me', or 'with room for growth', 'advancement', as these are about you and not the employer.
Here are some sample resume objectives:
For an entry level accounting position:
- A position in the accounting field where excellent analytical and technical skills can help to improve the company's profitability.
If you have two years experience:
- A Data Entry position where skills in spreadsheet development and troubleshooting can improve efficiency and enhance profitability.
If you are changing areas of employment:
- A position as Assistant Engineer where construction knowledge, high mechanical aptitude and commitment to safety can contribute to profitable operation.
If you are a creative worker:
- A Graphic Design position where advanced graphic and creative skills will produce a quality product for agency customers.
Adapting your resume objective
An objective can limit your options because it is so specific. That's why it's a good idea to write a new one, or adapt the existing one, for each vacancy you apply for. Always tailor it for the job in question.
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