Most resumes include standard sections, such as the objective, work experience, education, and accomplishments. The objective typically comes first in any resume, so it gives you an opportunity to make a strong impression on the hiring manager. Since 84% of resumes come across as impersonal, according to DevSkiller, your objective should showcase your unique personality and relevant goals.
So when and why should you use an opening objective for resumes? Find out what this important section can do for your resume, and get examples and tips for writing a good objective.
What Is a Resume Objective?
A resume objective is a brief introduction and statement of purpose that appears at the beginning of your resume and serves as a sort of textual elevator pitch. In a video resume, the objective appears next to your cover video. In a written resume, it goes right under your contact information.
Resume objectives typically summarize your career plan and briefly mention what makes you a good candidate for the job. Because they're short and to the point, objective statements offer excellent opportunities to attract a hiring manager's attention and make a good impression.
When to Write a Resume Objective
An objective is a smart addition to most resumes, especially in the era of COVID-19. Because in-person interviews have become relatively rare, it's important to use every possible opportunity to showcase your candidacy in your resume.
A resume objective is also essential in a few cases. You should always include this section in your resume if any of these situations apply:
- You're just starting your career. If you're applying for an entry-level position, sharing your future plans rather than focusing on your limited experience can better demonstrate your potential as a candidate.
- You're changing fields. If you're applying for your first role in a new industry, an objective can explain why you're changing careers and what you want to achieve in the process.
Objective vs. Resume Profiles
Also known as a summary statement, a resume profile can replace an objective in some cases. While an objective highlights your aspirations and how they fit the company's needs and mission, a resume profile focuses on how your skills and experience add value to the organization. If you're relatively advanced in your career, consider writing one of these summary statements instead of an objective to sit at the top of your written resume or accompany your video resume.
Help With Textual Elevator Pitches
Whether you're writing general job objective statements or crafting a strong elevator pitch, follow these tips:
- Make it short. Even if you have a lot to say, it's critical to keep your objective statement concise. In a video resume, limit your objective to one sentence. In a written resume, include everything you want to say in just one to three sentences.
- Use a paragraph format. The objective typically consists of a single, brief paragraph instead of a bulleted list.
- Hook the reader right away. Because the objective appears at the beginning of your resume, it's the first thing a hiring manager reads. A good resume objective should capture the reader's attention immediately with an action verb or a descriptive adjective.
- Include power words. To increase the impact of your elevator pitch, replace standard verbs with power words. These active verbs tend to be more specific and descriptive, making your statement more compelling. For example, 'improved,' 'optimized,' and 'resolved' are all power words.
- State your strongest qualifications. Although an objective primarily focuses on career plans, mentioning key credentials can bolster your statement. Because you have limited space, only include your most impressive and relevant qualifications.
- Clarify the value you provide. While objectives tend to be focused on your own experience and ambitions, it's important to provide context. Stating how you would contribute to the organization can give hiring managers a well-rounded understanding of you as a candidate.
- Tailor it to the job. In most cases, you should avoid writing general job objective statements that could apply to any role. To write good career objectives, you should always customize your elevator pitch for the specific job. Before you write, read the job description carefully to identify specific aspects that you can highlight in your objective.
Samples of Resume Objectives
When you want to make your elevator pitch as effective as possible, it's helpful to review some resume samples with objectives. Use these examples of career objectives in resumes as inspiration in writing your own.
General Career Objective
When you apply for an entry-level job, start with an objective like:
- Eager to expand my skill set via internal training sessions to improve ABC Company's primary KPIs. Motivated team player with proven administrative skills.
- Seeking administrative assistant position where I can apply my communication and organizational skills and enhance ABC Company's productivity.
Business Resume Objective
For a job in the business, banking, or legal fields, consider these examples:
- Goal-oriented financial analyst with strong decision-making and relationship-building skills. Applying five years of experience in the finance industry to secure a mid-level analyst role with ABC Firm.
- Ambitious business development professional with three years' experience in reporting and forecasting. Aiming for a mid-level role to leverage analytical abilities and improve decision-making skills.
Sales or Marketing Career Objective
For a sales or marketing job, grab attention with these objective samples:
- Driven sales representative seeking to improve regional sales KPIs for ABC Company. Capable of providing leadership for entry-level sales teams.
- Highly motivated marketing manager eager to leverage creative and analytical skills and streamline ABC Company's shift into a new market.
Management Objective Statement
When you apply for a leadership role, these objectives can make a big impact:
- Proven history of directing interdisciplinary teams. Seeking to provide experienced leadership for ABC Company.
- Results-driven leader with five years of experience in engineering. Seeking a management position to leverage strategic development skills.
With a strong resume objective, you have a much better chance of getting the hiring manager's attention. Keep these tips in mind to make a great first impression on your next job application.