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What Is an Objective Statement?
A resume objective is one or two sentences at the top of your resume that introduce you and state your intent as a job seeker. Its goal is to give the hiring manager an idea of who you are, what they can expect from you, and what you hope to accomplish.
The resume objective is the first helpful information a hiring manager will see, so communicating these facts effectively makes it easier for them to decide whether or not they want to pursue you as a candidate.
If you don’t have a lot of related experience, you can write it in a way that can explain why you will excel at the job. Simply focus on how you can add value to the employer.
A resume objective creates the opportunity to identify yourself as a qualified candidate for the job at hand. It shows where you want to go in your career.
That said, an objective statement isn’t appropriate for every resume!
We’ll tell you about how to know for sure if you should use one on your resume and, better yet, how to write an effective objective statement.
When to Use an Objective Statement
You should use an objective statement:
- if you haven’t had a lot of work experience or
- haven’t performed the role you’re applying for
It’s ideal for first-time job applicants because it shifts from your lack of experience to the company’s goals.
If you are fresh out of school, you can rely on the objective statement because it focuses on your career goals, not your experience.
It’s also a great fit for job seekers returning to the workforce or applying for a promotion or to a higher-level job. Objective statements are ideal for this type of transition because it shows recruiters why you’re interested and how your past skills can transfer to the new role.
However, if you’re not new to the workforce or a role, you shouldn’t use an objective statement!
If you have had a few different jobs or performed the role you’re applying to, you should use a professional summary.
A professional summary can be a bit stronger because it shows that you can already perform and succeed in the role rather than just tell the employer what you want to achieve.
Like an objective statement, the professional summary will live at the top of your resume, but it’s usually a tad longer than an objective statement, in the two to five-sentence range.
Even though both introductions are based on goals, the focus is different. The professional summary puts the emphasis on how the candidate’s experience can help the company’s goals. The objective statement shifts the focus from the job seeker’s experience to their goals and how they align with the company.
We’ll make the difference and approach between the two crystal clear in the next section.
Objective Statement Versus Professional Summary
An objective statement is a little shorter, one to three sentences, that discusses your career goals or lists the job skills you hope to develop.
Seeking a position as a warehouse associate to help streamline the ordering and distribution process through my ability to learn quickly on the job. Want to apply my strong work ethics, physical strength, organizational skills, and general problem-solving to increase the company’s productivity.
A professional or resume summary is two to four sentences that describe what elements of your achievements, experiences, skills or education make you suitable for the job.
Hardworking and dedicated Warehouse Worker with a successful six-year track record of maintaining inventory controls by collecting stock location orders and recording amounts of materials received. Posses a solid reputation for performing order pulling, labeling, and transporting duties safely within large warehouse environments. Possess current forklift certification. Bilingual in English and Spanish.
How to Write an Objective Statement
The resume objective may be the deciding factor to whether or not a hiring manager wants to pursue you as a candidate.
To write an effective objective statement, follow this simple formula:
- Start with a strong definition of your career goals, add two to three skills, and state what you hope to do for the company.
- Name the position to which you’re applying and include the company.
- Keep it short and concise.
Customize your objective statement specific to the role you are applying for. Before you begin writing, read the job description carefully. Learn what the employer values from the job description. Identify the skills and competencies required. Phrase your objective focused on the company’s needs.
Establish your value. Assure the hiring manager that you are qualified for the job by letting them know what they can expect from you and what you hope to accomplish for them.
Objective Statement Examples Based on Experience
Although objective statements are mostly used by people who don’t have a lot of job experience, they can be used to apply to a job that is a promotion from where you’re at career-wise.
Here are example objective statements based on different levels of experience.
Intern objective statement:
Highly driven business student seeking to develop and improve business skills in communication, advertisement, quantitative reasoning, and teamwork. I am looking to join a progressive organization as an intern to utilize my passion for business in helping the company’s growth while gaining more experience.
Here we can see the candidate wrote a clear and concise objective geared toward an internship in business. The student highlights industry-specific terms and hard skills that are relevant to the company.
Entry-level objective statement:
Recent digital content graduate with a passion for developing video and photography content. Seeking an opportunity to put my creative content approach and writing skills to work mastering new platforms and improving results.
In this example, the job seeker starts with the career goals and moves towards establishing the type of role they are interested in. Even though the applicant is a recent graduate, the focus is on what they can bring to the company.
Brand manager, providing professional services for start-ups and rapid-growth enterprises, looking to grow a global brand. Seeking an opportunity to use my decade of experience and in-depth knowledge of integrated marketing campaign tactics as a Senior Brand Strategist.
In this case, this job seeker is an experienced candidate looking to apply for a different position within the same company. The applicant includes the knowledge and skills to demonstrate their abilities to perform in the new role.
Objective Statement Examples by Job Title
Nothing can help you write your great objective statement like the power of a good example.
Here are some great objective statement examples to guide you for some of our top job titles:
Accountant objective statement:
“Certified Public Accountant with five years of experience seeking a management position where I can apply my analytical skills and leadership experience to lead the department to financial effectiveness and cost-effective solutions.”
Administrative Assistant objective statement:
“Looking to contribute two years of experience as an administrative assistant to the position of Logistics Administrative Assistant where I can apply my knowledge in supply management and inventory control to provide support to the operation.”
Customer Service Representative objective statement:
“Diligent and personable customer service representative seeking a position in which my knowledge of products and service combined with my solid communication skills can contribute to quality service.”
Data analyst professional summary:
“Deeply knowledgeable Data Analyst seeking to establish a career with a company where I can design database processes and procedures for the enterprise environment.”
Financial Analyst objective statement:
“A highly motivated individual looking to advance my professional career as a financial analyst. I can contribute with deep insight in variance research analysis and apply my accounting reporting skills to improve the company financial structures.”
Human Resources Recruiter objective statement:
“Self-motivated professional with five years of experience in a human resource field. Looking to gain employment as a U.S. Army Recruiter to utilize my human resources and interpersonal skills abilities to conduct thorough and effective background investigations within the HR unit.”
IT Project Manager objective statement:
“Highly analytical IT project manager skilled at planning and developing the components and staff for the network systems and technical support. Looking to identify staffing needs and effectively manage the project staff.”
Receptionist objective statement:
“A friendly and committed receptionist with proven efficiency in operating a multi-line phone system, providing support in after-hours medical helpline. I am seeking an opportunity to join the virtual medical receptionist position to contribute to patient satisfaction."
Nursing Assistant objective statement:
“Dedicated nurse looking to obtain a CNA position at the regional hospital where I can apply my knowledge of pain management and unique nursing practices using excellent patient care to help with quick recovery and revitalization of patients.”
Sales Associate objective statement:
“Professional Sales Associate highly skilled with strong people skills, attention to detail, problem-solving skills. Seeking a position at a business strong on ethics where I can continue my professional development.”
Software Engineer objective statement:
“Seeking a software engineer position, bringing eight years hands-on experience in Java, HTML, C++, and core web design. I am looking to apply my knowledge and experience to the Senior Staff Engineer position to improve designing and implementing systems.”
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What is a good objective for an entry-level resume?
A good objective will convince recruiters that you know what you want and that you have the passion and dedication they need to succeed in the job at hand.
In one-to-three sentences, introduce yourself and explain what they can expect from you and what you hope to accomplish.
Go straight to explaining your career goals and how you can contribute to the company. For example:
“A results-driven worker seeking an entry-level position in marketing where I can contribute to the successful operations of the company with my solid computer skills and sales tactics.”
What is a good objective for a resume with no experience?
Even if you do not have much experience, you can still write an eye-catching objective. Instead of focusing on your work history, mention your goals for employment.
For example, here’s what an objective statement for a new graduate can look like:
“Highly driven recent culinary school graduate seeking a full-time position as a line cook where I can apply my knowledge of metrics and food preparation for setting up and plating dishes according to a restaurant’s menu specifications.”
For an applicant entering the job market for the first time, they can write:
“Motivated team player and aspiring business consultant looking to apply my knowledge and strategies to guide start-up companies on business operations and appraisals.”
Objective statements are optimal for people with no experience; you’ve just got to tap into what you want out of a job.
What to put on an objective for a resume?
An objective statement is very straightforward. Include the position that you are applying for and how you can work toward the company’s success.
When writing your resume objective, customize your career goals to align with what the employer posted in the job description. You should always write to explain what you can do for the company.
“A hard worker looking for an entry-level position as a front desk receptionist in the hospitality industry where my strong customer service orientation and communication skills can complete reservations and check-in.”
What does an objective on a resume mean?
An objective is a short statement describing the value you can add and the needs you can fulfill.
A resume objective means that you strategically place the focus on your goals and what you can accomplish for the company’s growth.
An objective statement usually shows that the candidate is looking to start a new career, is applying for a job within the same company, or is fresh out of school.
Whether you have entry-level experience or looking to start a different career, this short statement can hold the recruiters’ attention by outlining your career direction.
What to write in an objective statement on a resume?
Write your objective in one or two sentences describing your professional goals and what you can do for the company. Tailor your objective for each job you apply for by aligning your goals to the job description. Write a new resume objective for each job to which you apply.
Keep it short. Do not go over two sentences and clearly define the position you are applying for. The more specific you are, the better chance you have of being considered.
Explain why you are qualified for the job, even without related experience. Structure your statement so that it explains what you can do for the company. Align the position to the job you are targeting and your goals for employment.