Every aspect of a resume has to form a bridge between an applicant's specific experience and the requirements and interests of the company. Whether resumes are scanned by a keyword system or a busy HR director, the fact is many resumes are handled for only a minute before being put into one of three piles: yes, maybe and no. A clearly defined resume objective can help you convey your skills and experience that contribute to your professional goals.
Resume Objectives for Career Track Professionals
Customization is particularly important for career professionals. "Looking for growth and advancement" does not demonstrate how your skills will directly impact the company. Instead, answer that all-important employer question: what's in it for me?
- Fundraising: Innovative fundraising professional with experience working for various nonprofits and universities seeking to manage an advancement team focused on growth potential and cultivation of relationships
- Retail marketing: Seasoned retail marketing professional intent on raising awareness of Kroger's capabilities and increasing visibility within the community
- Safety and quality control: Shift foreman and quality and safety control specialist in agricultural manufacturing desires to implement cost control measures and technological advancements through a plant manager position
- Human resources: To obtain a position as an HR Generalist or HR Business Partner with a progressive organization committed to attracting and retaining top talent in the [fill in field] industry
- Actuarial: Seeking a position in the actuarial field to utilize proven analytical skills and quantitative thinking abilities to contribute to the growth of the company
- Nursing: Seeking a position as a licensed practical nurse at a respected private medical facility that provides the opportunity to serve patients through both clinical and technical expertise
- Software developer: Innovative thinker looking for a challenging position focused on developing new software solutions using advanced technical applications
- Bank clerk: Responsible and motivated experienced financial services professional looking to join the staff of a reputable bank in the [insert name of city or town] area as a relationship banking specialist
- Pharmacist: To use the knowledge and experience gained from completing a Pharm.D degree program and five years of practical experience to provide services to patients with various needs in a retail pharmacy setting
Special Considerations for Students and Recent Graduates
When writing a resume as a high school or college student or as a recent graduate, don't allow a lack of work experience to be a barrier to presenting yourself as an individual serious about work and willing to put forth the effort.
Student Resume Objectives
When looking for a job that you can work while also attending high school or college, consider using an objective similar to one of these options.
- General retail position: To obtain a part-time position in a retail environment to provide excellent customer service and to obtain experience in the knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the [industry/type of service] field
- Tutoring position: Dedicated student with a [fill-in number] grade point average seeking a part-time position as an after-school tutor in [insert subjects and grade levels]
- Career-preparation position: Responsible high school student with a genuine love for animals seeking part-time employment with a veterinary hospital to serve animals and their owners in preparation for veterinary school
Recent Graduate Resumes
When searching for your first post-graduation job, look for ways to highlight skills you have mastered and relevant practical experience in your field of study in your resume objective.
- Recent political science honors graduate and former member of university student senate seeking a position requiring intuitive research capabilities and constructive policy formulation
- Campus newspaper editor and journalism major seeking to join the editorial team of the Kansas City Star as a metro/community beat reporter or feature writer
- Recent graduate seeking full-time employment providing clerical support in an office environment that requires strong computer, customer service, and organizational skills
Is an Objective Necessary?
Certain nuances of the application process continue to evolve. Not long ago, no resume was complete without a resume objective statement, which is a one line summary of an applicant's career direction.
However, just as there are different types of resumes, there are now different ways to position the applicant's career goals and intent while keeping a company's goals in mind to ensure your resume lands at the top of the "yes" stack.
- If you choose to include a resume objective, remember that employers expect the objective to answer one question: is this person going to use his or her skills to benefit our company? Resume objectives need to answer that question immediately in a language familiar to the employer.
- Many applicants find success by foregoing an objective and instead opting for a professional summary, a vehicle that serves to provide an overview of an applicant's qualifications. This is an especially good option for executive or managerial resumes.
- A more modern take on a resume objective example is a combination of the two: a brief summary of skills that zeros in on why this applicant will help the success of the company while still highlighting career goals. This style is often helpful for individuals changing careers or with multiple areas of expertise.
No matter what option you choose, always customize the objective or summary to the specific position, even if this means constantly changing the resume with each new prospect.
Key Points for Objectives
When writing an objective, there are several key tips to consider:
- Use resume keywords and language found within the job advertisement.
- Tailor each resume objective to fit the position.
- Avoid using first person.
- If you can't provide a direct benefit statement objective, consider doing a professional summary.
Tailor Your Objective
The best resume objectives are tailored to fit a specific job for a specific company. Be sure your objective matches the position that you are applying for so that it not only stands out, but also demonstrates your skills. With the stacks of resumes that often come in for a position, you will want yours to be the best it can be. Remember that the objective is the first glimpse that an employer will get of you and your skills-and you only get one chance to make a first impression!