When you're in the market for a new job, it's essential to have a current, well-written resume that accurately reflects your qualifications. Your resume can be the single most important factor in determining whether you'll be considered for a position. Creating a good resume that captures the hiring manager's interest can involve crafting an effective objective, as well as highlighting your relevant skills and employment history.
Clarify the Type of Job You Are Seeking
The purpose of a resume objective is to convey the type of job you are you are trying to get. It should be as specific as possible. If an interviewer is hiring for an HR assistant job, for example, and your resume objective indicates that you are seeking an office assistant role, there's a good chance that your resume won't make the cut. Even if your education or work history indicates experience in HR, the way your objective is worded will make it seem like you are looking to transition to a more general administrative support role.
- Don't: Seeking a position using administrative skills in an office environment
- Do: Seeking an office manager role overseeing administrative functions in a law firm
Customize Your Career Objective for Each Position
Instead of trying to come up with a career objective statement that is general enough to use all the time, you'll be better off if you customize the objective portion of your resume each time you apply for a job. You should change the objective based on the particular employer or type of job that you are applying for so that you can express your specific interest in each position. Avoiding a non-specific resume objective will help keep your resume from getting passed over in the application screening process due to a lack of clarity regarding what type of job you are seeking.
- Don't: Seeking a sales job
- Do: Seeking an opportunity to work as a business-to-business sales representative with XYZ Widget Company
Use Third Person to Write Your Resume
Resumes should be written in third person, and this includes the career objective statement. Too many people draft objectives that are written in first person (I, me, my, etc.), and this is entirely too informal for a resume. Keep in mind that your resume is a formal business document that should accurately reflect the level of professionalism that is appropriate for the type of job you hope to get.
- Don't: I want to work as a classroom teaching assistant
- Do: Seeking a classroom teaching assistant position with ABC Preschool
Avoid Focusing on How You Will Benefit
Don't lose sight of the fact that the purpose of writing a resume is to sell yourself to an employer. You shouldn't Don't write a resume objective that focuses on how you will benefit from the job. Avoid objectives that include phrases like improve my skills", gain more experience, or put my education to work''. Instead, focus on the type of work that you want to do. After all, employers hire people to perform work, so it makes sense that your resume should reflect your eagerness to provide value to the employer - not the other way around.
- Don't: I am seeking a position in customer service that will allow me to gain experience in my field
- Do: Seeking to contribute to company growth through an entry-level customer service position
Keep it Short
A resume objective should be a single sentence that is concise and to the point. The objective statement should be short and to the point, leaving the rest of the space on the resume to highlight what you have to offer as an employee. Don't make the mistake of creating a long objective that is basically a run-on sentence or that includes multiple sentences.
- Don't: Seeking a growth-oriented role with XYZ Manufacturing that requires strong communication and organizational skills, as well as expertise in data entry, spreadsheet creation, writing, editing, proofreading, and event planning.
- Do: Seeking a corporate communications position with XYZ Manufacturing
Include Position-Specific Keywords
With so many companies using application tracking systems that require candidates to upload their resumes to a database, it's important to use resume keywords effectively. When writing an objective for your resume, consider what terms a recruiter might use to search the database to find potential candidates for the type of job you want. Include that type of terminology in your objective, as well as other portions of your resume.
- Don't: Seeking a career opportunity for an ambitious go-getter and dedicated team player to work on multiple projects
- Do: Seeking a Scrum-based project manager role in an innovative technology firm
Determine if Your Resume Needs a Career Objective
Not everyone includes an objective on their resume. While at one time it was believed that every resume should include an objective statement, this is no longer the case. The decision of whether to include an objective on your resume is a personal one that should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Generally, if you're applying for a role for which you are clearly qualified based on your work history and other information on your resume, then you may not need an objective.
- If you're making a career change, are returning to the job market after an absence, or are a student or recent graduate, then including a well-written objective can help hiring managers see you as a viable job candidate.
Review Resume Objective Statement Examples for Multiple Jobs
While there is no single right answer to the question of how to write a resume, reviewing examples of good resume objectives can be very helpful when you are trying to improve your own resume or customize it for a particular position. Review resume objective examples for various jobs, such as management or secretarial roles, when determining how to word your own objective. Examples of well-written career objective statements for a resume include:
- To obtain an entry-level position with a leading publishing house. (Better yet, specifically name the publishing house.)
- To secure a position in healthcare administration that requires skills in medical coding, office management, and customer service.
- Obtaining a challenging position in retail management with a Retail X Corporation.
- Seeking a sales position that includes opportunities to prospect, build client relationships, and provide outstanding customer service.
- To provide leadership as the executive director of a charitable organization focused on raising money for cancer research.
Boost Your Job Search With a Winning Resume
It's up to you to decide whether to include an objective on your resume. If you do choose to include an objective, it will impact the overall quality and effectiveness of your resume, which is an important job search tool. Be sure that any objective statement you include on your resume is properly written and accurately reflects what you are trying to accomplish as a job seeker. Following the tips provided here is a great starting point. From there, review samples of resume formats so you'll be write a winning resume.