Anatomy of a resume objective statement
Let’s take a close look at a well-written career objective example. The objective statement below is written by an experienced job seeker who is hoping to transition to a different role with their current employer.
(1) Astute and performance-driven senior project manager with 10 years of experience at ABC Sales Corp who (2) wants to transition to an account manager in the same division. I am ready to apply my (3) attention to detail, time management, organizational and relationship-building skills to (4) establish trusted business relationships with customers and prospects to surpass the company's sales goals.
Now let’s break it down piece by piece so that you can apply these lessons to your resume. This resume objective example works because it:
Begins with the applicant’s current career status. Use your resume objective statement to mention your current position, whether you’re working, volunteering or nearing graduation.
Mentions the company and the job the applicant is interested in. At this point, you should lay out your career objective — what transition are you hoping to make?
Highlights applicant’s most relevant skills. A good objective for a resume shows the potential employer why you’re a great fit for the role. Read through the job ad to identify employer-desired skills and use the exact wording in your statement.
Addresses a primary pain point. Explain how your skills and career objective align with the employer’s goals — and give this some oomph! This is where you drive home what makes you a top candidate.
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Resume objective writing dos and don’ts
Now that you’re armed with resume objective examples, you’re ready to start writing. We’ve compiled a list of critical “do’s and don’ts” to help you draft an effective career objective statement.
- Customize your resume objective statement for each position.
- Align your objective statement with your resume.
- Use the right keywords.
- Emphasize what you can do for the position/company in your career objective.
- A good objective for a resume mentions your most vital traits and quantifiable achievements.
- Be specific.
- Mention what you hope to gain from the position in your resume objective.
- Use obvious or a general objective for a resume (e.g., “to get [job title] at [company name]”).
- Include interests (e.g., “extreme skiing enthusiast”) or hobbies (e.g., “member of Gamers International”) that are not relevant to the job.
- Rehash the contents of your resume in your career objective statement.
- Ramble on.
- Be vague.
More resume resources
We have plenty of additional resources to help with every aspect of your resume.
What is a career objective for a resume?A resume objective statement is a two to three sentence explanation of your career goals and why you want the job.
How should I use general resume objective examples?General resume objective examples are great starting points when writing a resume objective statement. They provide inspiration and are helpful when you can’t seem to find the right words. That said, you should never copy a resume objective sample! Instead, use them for ideas, motivation and guidance.
How do I describe my job objective for a resume?Best practices for describing a career objective include:
Be concise. Aim for no more than three sentences.
Write a new objective for each job.
Focus on the employer’s needs.
Talk up your most relevant skills.
Mention your experience in the field if you have any.
What can I put on my resume instead of an objective statement?Suppose you already have experience in the role and aren’t changing industries or returning to work after a long absence. In that case, you should write a professional summary to outline your qualifications and show why you are the best match for the job.
How do you write a resume objective as a student?As a student, you should include applicable skills and training obtained from class projects, internships, or volunteering, your desire to work for the company, why, and what you hope to achieve if hired.
What shouldn’t be included in a general objective for a resume?Never include the following in a resume objective:
Lies. It pays to be honest!
Your hobbies or personal interests.
What you want to gain from the job.
More than three sentences.
Grammar and spelling mistakes.
What can I put on my resume instead of a career objective statement?For many job seeker resumes, a professional summary is a better fit than an objective statement. Professional summaries give a high-level overview of work experience, accomplishments, skills and why you would be a good fit for the job.