Depending on where you look or who you ask, resume objective statements are either useful to include on your resume or outdated and should be avoided. According to the naysayers, the rare instance when using a resume objective might be acceptable is when you’re an inexperienced hire that recently graduated. However, many believe there are other instances where an objective is suitable to use and can add value to your resume.
What is a resume objective?
A resume objective statement is a short one- to three-sentence introduction that is typically included at the top of a resume. It outlines your career goals and a few pertinent skills and experiences that support how you can add value to the job you’re applying to.
When is a resume objective a good option?
Again, depending on the expert you ask, some say resume objectives are outdated, and others say they’re valuable to incorporate. Regardless, there are four primary scenarios where an objective for resumes could prove beneficial:
- If you’re a recent graduate with little experience. Recent high school and college graduates commonly use an objective statement to clarify the type of job they’re seeking.
- If you’re looking to make a career or industry change. When you don’t have direct skills or experience in the career or industry you’re seeking to move into, an objective statement can help you clarify your goals while also giving you the opportunity to indicate why your current skills can serve you well in the new career.
- If you’re relocating. Your city and zip code could confuse recruiters and hiring managers if you’re applying for a job in a new city. An objective can help clarify your desire or need to relocate.
- If you’re returning to the job market. Those who have been out of the job market for a few years can use an objective statement to clarify why.
Some other scenarios where you might opt to include an objective statement are:
- You’re ambitious and seeking a promotion. An objective statement enables you to state your goal to advance and how a company could benefit from promoting you.
- You want to emphasize clarity that you know what you want. Another benefit of an objective statement is allowing you to show that you are clear in your goals, what you want in your career, and that you’re familiar with the company and industry, which companies appreciate.
How to write an objective for a resume
Here are some pointers on how to write an appealing resume objective:
Align it to the job
You don’t want to write a standard objective statement and use it for every job you pursue. Instead, it’s vital to align your objective statement to fit the job for which you’re applying.
Be clear and concise
One key in how to write an objective for your resume is to be specific and succinct. The more specificity, the better your chances of landing an interview. Shoot straight from the hip, starting with what you want and the skills and experiences you possess that are requirements for the job. Avoid using filler words and incorporate strong action verbs.
Review the job posting for relevant keywords you can naturally incorporate into your resume objective. Keywords not only help you get past the bots used in applicant tracking systems but also catch the eye of human readers.
Include how you add value
It’s easy to focus too much on what you want when writing an objective statement and forget that it’s still necessary to include how you’ll add value to the organization. The overarching goal of your resume is to indicate why you’re an ideal candidate for the job, which starts with the objective statement when including one. Clearly state your value proposition to increase your chances of catching the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager.
Highlight your strongest competencies and attributes
Your objective statement should include your most relevant strengths and anything unique you contribute that other candidates might not. Also include certifications and licenses relevant to the job or organization.
Resume objective examples
Seeking a position to utilize my strong written communication skill, award-winning copywriting, and willingness to collaborate on team projects.
Looking for a remote teaching position that allows me to apply my 10 years of primary school teaching experience.
Relocating to the Seattle area and seeking a position to apply my 15 years of clinical mental health counseling experience.
Communications manager with experience in email marketing, copywriting, web development, and SEO seeking to apply these transferable skills in the energy sector.
Award-winning video production manager looking to relocate to the New York City area. Seeking to apply my 8 years of video management and production experience to bring high-quality production to XYZ Company.
Seeking a position at ABC Business where I can maximize my 12+ years of quality assurance and accounting training experience in the marketing sector.
Recent college graduate with a MA in Human Resources and six months of oil & gas intern experience. Seeking to leverage my academic and internship experience to excel in your open entry-level human resource generalist position.
Outgoing certified career coach with a reputation and proven track record of supporting trailing spouses in securing employment in their new location. Seeking a position with XYZ company to support your team in meeting its placement goals and objectives.
Marketing specialist and team lead with 10+ years of experience seeking a management position to apply my proven ability to motivate and lead teams to exceed sales and production goals by a minimum of 10% annually.
Alternatives to an objective statement
A resume summary statement is a statement of your relevant qualifications and work experiences that align with a specific position. A summary statement, unlike an objective, primarily focuses on how you can add value and benefit the organization instead of stating your career goals.
A resume headline, or title, is commonly used at the top of a resume. It’s a condensed phrase of your experience and often includes your level and title. A headline is often used with a summary statement directly below it.
A resume branding statement is a short statement of about 15 words that emphasizes your key skills and accomplishments. It’s longer than a headline but shorter than a summary statement or objective.
Final words on objective statements
When using an objective statement, as with your entire resume, be sure to proofread and edit it so it is clear of any grammar or punctuation errors. If you don’t have time or are concerned about it, you can also seek resume writing services to support you in crafting a solid objective statement and your entire resume while you’re at it.
Finally, if you choose to go with an objective statement instead of one of the other options listed, do so with confidence; or get a free resume rewrite to ensure your resume is going out there to work for you!