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We glanced at your resume. And we want to tell you: Thanks, but no thanks.
An employer who just threw your resume in the trash. Poor Michelle.
Why aren’t employers looking at her resume?
Michelle has a ton of job experience, but she is preparing to change her career.
Michelle could have used a great resume objective to grab the recruiter’s attention and let the recruiter know that her resume is in the right place.
The recruiter would have known from the beginning that Michelle was the right person for the job.
This article will tell you why good resume objective statements are important plus:
And I will explain the differences between a general resume objective, resume summary, and resume profile.
For industry-specific examples, keep reading. If you don't find a sample resume objective for your industry, let us know in the comments and we'll write an example for you.
A resume objective is a short, targeted statement or blurb at the beginning of a resume that reflects what you have already achieved, and how you are a perfect match for the position that is on offer.
Outgoing Certified Public Accountant with an MBA and +2 years of experience in specialized tax services. Seeking to leverage my technical and professional expertise to grow in the new role of Accountant at your company.
Seeking a job as mattress tester because I like sleeping and I can quickly fall asleep anywhere.
Here is a template from our resume builder. Notice how the sample resume objective stands out.
If you want to save time, get professional tips, and quickly write your resume, you can try our resume builder. It's fast and easy to use. See more templates and create your resume here.
Highlight your resume objective with our templates - create your resume in 5 minutes here.
So, what does objective mean?
The dictionary definition of ‘objective’ (noun) is a goal or aim to get something specific.
What is your goal for applying for a job?
To get a job.
Employers know you want the job. You gave them your resume.
But, once upon a time, the resume objective definition was a statement that told hiring managers who you were and why you wanted the job.
Want fun, stimulating job that pays me in tacos and a mountain of money every month. Oh, and fifty days of paid vacation. And a gym membership. Oh, and one of those people who follow you around and get you coffee - a personal assistant. Yes, one of those.
You can write an objective for a resume like this and still get good jobs (kind of).
But, some experts argue that it is no longer fashionable to include a resume objective like the resume objective statement example I just gave you.
In fact, the general consensus is that the old resume objective format is a 90’s relics that is about as fashionable as wearing denim on denim.
Because employers care more about what they want. Surprise, surprise.
You aren’t writing a letter to Santa.
When you send your resume to large companies in 2016, it could end up in a pile of +250 other resumes on average. The modern recruiter needs to quickly scan each resume. They only have time to look for what they want and need.
Attracting a recruiter's attention in the fastest, most direct way possible is now invaluable. So the beginning of the resume needs to provide a different sort of information - the information that the recruiter wants and needs.
This is why the format for great resume objectives has changed.
Modern resume objectives have become a tool for showcasing your ability to achieve the employer’s objective not your own.
Experienced chef interested in becoming a zoo keeper. Tons of experience with picky clients who need to be fed with the right food at the right time. Want to apply my patience and understanding of complicated clients to taking care of angry lions at the Zoo
Pro Tip: A good resume objective needs to show that you are a perfect match for that position. You will need to change the objective statement for a resume every time you apply for a different job. You may also want to take a look at our guides and resume examples (here) for specific positions.
So, if you apply for 1,000 jobs how many good resume objectives do you need?
Yes, that’s right - 1,000 resume objectives. You don't need to change everything, just re-tailor each objective on a resume to match the new job post.
The topic of writing a resume objective is confusing. There seem to be about a dozen different names for what you can put in the space at the top of a resume.
Here’s the thing - they are all basically the same. But, there are minor differences and you should not confuse them. Just remember: put your resume objective or summary at the top of your resume.
Sample Resume Objective - See +20 resume templates and create your resume here
When you're writing a resume, the first thing you will probably include after adding your contact information is some sort of introduction.
Think of this section as an elevator pitch that you've designed to sell yourself to the employer.
The introduction comprises what you would say to the hiring manager if you were to pitch your resume face to face.
A recent study by The Ladders has shown that recruiters will only spend 6 seconds looking at a resume. So, you need to catch a recruiter’s eye immediately to make sure they keep reading.
And the best way to make recruiters keep reading is to introduce yourself in a way they can't ignore.
Okay, but let's go back to writing a resume objective for a resume.
1. The Resume Objective
2. The Resume Summary or Executive Summary
3. The Resume Profile
1. People who are entering the job market for the first time.
2. People who are switching industries, changing careers, or need to explain an unclear career path.
3. People who are targeting specific positions.
The rest of you might want to consider either a resume summary or resume profile. Or you don’t have to use anything if you don’t feel like it.
You can just jump right into your experience or education section. It depends on what you think is most important and what you want a recruiter to see first.
If you need advice on how to write a resume to get invited to an interview, read our article: "How To Write A Resume – The Only Guide You Need [Examples]"
Another reason why experts will tell you that general resume objectives are dead is because of the rise of the resume summary and the resume profile.
Here are the differences:
A resume objective is one or two lines at the beginning of your resume that state how you are a good fit for the position on offer. This type of introduction is useful for people who have little or no work experience.
Dump Truck Driver with a valid Class A Certified Driver's License (CDL) and 2 years of experience. Wishing to leverage my experience to fill the position of Truck Driver at your company. Zero accidents or injuries throughout entire career.
Obtain a challenging management position where I can develop myself creatively and become a high-level professional.
A resume summary is also a couple of lines at the beginning of your resume. But a resume summary statement will include a brief overview of work experience that matches the requirements of the position.
Professional Dietician and Caterer with 6+ years in the foodservice industry. Highly entrepreneurial and efficient at building and maintaining client relationships. Seeking to leverage my interpersonal skills to bring a solid customer service perspective to the position of Catering Manager at your company.
Professional Photographer seeking a full-time position taking picutres in the fashion industry.
Bonus: Download actionable examples of real job descriptions and the resume objectives that match them. "Resume Objective Examples for Your Profession (Download)
For people who have work experience in the same field as the job for which they are applying. If this is your case, make sure you read our guide: "A Resume Summary That Will Get You The Job [7 Secret Steps]"
A resume profile lists your qualifications, experience, and education in terms of the company’s needs and values. It is exactly like a resume summary statement, just more extensive. It can be formatted as a paragraph or as a list with bullet points.
Let’s look at IT jobs for a moment.
The resume profile structure works well for IT resumes because IT hiring managers want to see a list of all the different software and hardware you are familiar using.
IT Systems Technician
In the end, the real difference is whether or not you have quantifiable work experience.
Pro Tip: Never confuse resume introductions with cover letters.
Yes, it is still necessary to write cover letters.
Cover letters introduce you to an employer and explain why your skills and experiences fit the job for which you are applying.
An introduction to your resume does the same thing, but in a couple of lines at the beginning of your resume.
Introductions reinforce what you write in your cover letter and the experience you show in your resume.
For more information on how to write a cover letter, read our full guide: "How To Write A Cover Letter [Complete Guide With Examples]"
In this section, I’ve put together a bunch of examples of great resume objectives for people in specific situations.
These examples are for the three types of people I mentioned at the beginning of the article:
Entry level or first-time employees include:
If you are a person looking for your first job, you should focus on the traits that will make you a good employee. But you shouldn’t randomly pick three nice adjectives out of thin air.
Look back at your accomplishments and activities as a student. Find traits that are easily displayed during those activities.
Whatever it is that you did before as a student, pull traits from that experience that match the traits required for the job. Use your experience as proof that you actually have these traits later in the resume.
Dedicated team player (1) (captain of the swim team 2 years) with proven leadership and communication skills. Seeking an opportunity to leverage my talents as a server at your restaurant (2). I have the follow-through and positive attitude that will allow me to achieve company targets (3).
Strong Trait (1) + Specific Position (2) + Added Value for Company (3)
Lead with your strongest trait.
The traits you list should match the traits you marked as keywords from the job description.
Dedicated team player (captain of the swim team 2 years) with proven leadership and communication skills. Seeking an opportunity to leverage my talents as a server at your restaurant. I have the follow-through and positive attitude that will allow me to achieve company targets.
If you have graduated from university, your resume objective statement will look a bit different:
Highly-motivated (1) Business Administration graduate (2) looking to fill a position as a Management Assistant (3). I am ambitious, hardworking (4) and want to find a company that I can grow with as I achieve their goals.
Strong Trait (1) + Education (2) + Specific Position (3) + Added Value for Company (4)
1. Lead with a strong trait.
2. Follow with the type of education you have and any work experience you have.
3. State the position you are seeking.
4. End with a sentence that emphasizes that you add value to the company.
Let’s say you’ve just been out of the game for a long time. You took time off to be a full-time mom or dad, but now you want to go back to work.
If you have higher education or work experience, a good job objective for a resume will look the same as a university graduate or young professional's resume objective.
Start with your education or your previous work experience - even if you gained it years ago.
Maybe you have never worked and don’t have higher education.
Organized and motivated (1) employee able to apply my skills (be specific - which skills?) in various environments. Seeking a position as an office assistant (2) in (name of company). I am personable and reliable and will prove to be an asset to the company.
Strong trait (1) + Specific Position (2) + Added Value (3)
Need to know how to write a student resume from the beginning? Read our complete guide on how to write a CV written exclusively for students. "A Complete Guide To Writing A Student Resume (13 Tips, Examples)"
You have experience, you just have it in another industry.
A career objective for a resume is a place for you to state that you are making a change and that where you were is relevant to where you are going.
That way, a hiring manager doesn’t think your resume is in the wrong place.
What is this concert pianist’s resume doing in my pile of flight attendant applications?
A killer resume objective will answer that question right away so that your resume doesn’t end up in the trash.
Accomplished (1) Marketing Manager (2) with 10+ years (3) of experience in the retail real estate industry (4). Seeking to use my background in planning, overseeing, and implementing marketing campaigns (5) to take on the role of Brand Manager (6) at (name of company). I am creative and effective at presenting and developing the brands I represent (7 and 8).
Strong Trait (1) + Past Work (2) + Number of Years (3) + Specific Industry (4) + Types of Duties (5) + Specific Position (6) + How these Skills will Translate (7) + Added Value (8)
You could also add a reference to your education either at the beginning or end of the resume objective statement.
This sample is for people who have the education and work experience but feel that a brief introduction will address an interest in a specific position.
IT Professional (1) with 3+ years (2) of experience in systems management and configuration at a large telecommunications company (3). Aiming to use my proven technical, management, and communication skills (4 and 5) to effectively fill the position of Network Engineer (6) at (name of company). Possess a BA in Computer Science (7).
Past Work (1) + Number of Years (2) + Specific Industry (3) + Types of Duties (4) + Strong Traits (Keywords) (5) + Specific Position (6) + Your Degree and Training (7)
One of the benefits of putting a good resume objective on a resume is that it makes you stand out to an employer at first glance.
Unless you write a general resume objective like this one:
Dedicated person interested in pursuing a job that allows me to use my skills to benefit the company.
Remember? We already talked about this.
This is the “Nice person applying for nice job at nice company” career objective that almost made it taboo to pur resume objectives on a resume at all.
Be specific. Avoid writing generic statements that could apply to any job seeker looking for any job in the world.
Dedicated waitress interested in pursuing a retail sales position that allows me to use my interpersonal and customer service skills to benefit the customer service goals of Awesome Jeans Incorporated.
Now that’s specific.
Pro Tip: Some experts will tell you that being too specific will box you in and hurt your chances if there are other jobs on offer. That may be true if you are not responding to a specific job offer.
In most cases, you will respond to specific job offers. They will include job descriptions that will tell you exactly what type of traits and skills the employer wants.
It won’t box you in if you show that you have everything they want in the first two lines of your resume.
You will come across as the exact person they need to hire for the job.
If you want to know how to make yourself really stand out on a resume, read our article on how to put hobbies and interests on a resume. "+20 Best Examples of Hobbies & Interests To Put On A Resume (5 Tips)"
Use numbers and details when possible:
My proven managerial and organizational skills were developed through 2 years of experience creating a series of events that drew over 100 people each.
Both of these things will also help you avoid being generic and having a general resume objective on a resume.
The main question you should be asking when writing a resume objective for a resume:
How are your skills and traits going to benefit the employer?
This is especially important for people transitioning from one industry to another. How does your past experience translate to your future position?
Let’s look at the example again:
Dedicated waitress interested in pursuing a retail sales position that allows me to use my interpersonal and customer service skills to benefit the customer service goals of Awesome Jeans Incorporated.
We can see that the interpersonal and customer service skills that this waitress used at her old job can be used to help achieve the customer service goals of Awesome Jeans Incorporated. Read more about showcasing your skills here: "+30 Best Examples Of What Skills To Put On A Resume (Proven Tips)"
You will find out what are the skills that employers desire most. Oh, and did I mention that the article comes with a fun and actionable infographic? Go check.
Make it short and sweet.
Resumes are short documents.
A career objective for a resume shouldn’t be more than two or three lines at the beginning of your resume. No one wants to read a novel about your job experience.
Do you know how long your resume should be? No? Then read our guide: "How Long Should A Resume Be? Everything You Need To Know"
Maybe you’ve heard a rule like:
Don’t use pronouns or the first person on your resume.
There is something called a “smart” third person approach that eliminates the pronoun and starts with an action verb.
Instead of saying “I manage” you write “Manage.”
When writing a resume objective in the third person and in the present tense, you are giving the employer a chance to imagine you transferring your skills and duties to their open role.
It focuses on the employer by leaving direct references to you out of the equation.
But, like I said before, there are no real rules.
If using “I” or “me” works for you, do it.
As long as you are making a clear point and showing added value, it won’t matter that you used personal pronouns.
Also, what are you supposed to call the thing? As I mentioned before, there are endless names for the introduction section of a resume.
Or forget the title and just start writing.
Make it work for you. Write what’s comfortable and compelling.
Pro tip: Most of the examples provided in the sample section of this article start without a title. Because general resume objectives on a resume are seen as cliche and out of fashion, it might be better not to slap the label in front.
Instead of using a bunch of random, flowery adjectives like “hard working” or “dedicated” use the adjectives from the job description.
Note: use “hard working” and “dedicated” if they are in the job description.
This is a form of keyword optimization.
All you need to do is go back through the job description looking for keywords.
These keywords should be written throughout your resume. A couple of them can show up in your resume objective as well.
Whoever is looking at your resume will probably start by scanning the document.
Recruiters will be looking for the keywords they put in the job description, and if you add them to a resume and an objective in a resume, they will find what they are looking for right away.
Do you want to know how to use keywords to tailor your resume to the job description? I'll show you in our actionable step-by-step guide: "6 Proven Tips On How To Tailor Your Resume To The Job Description"
Okay. I lied. There are two rules you should always follow.
Never use the word "utilize" and don't lie.
Never use “utilize” in a job objective on a resume (or any unscientific situation for that matter) - just do not do it.
You will sound pretentious.
You will sound like you are trying too hard to sound intelligent.
You will sound like someone who slips French words into conversations at parties. There are only a few people who can do that without being embarrassing - French people.
If you can use the word “use” then use it.
Also, don’t lie about your traits or skills:
If you hate people, then don’t say you are “friendly” or “bubbly” or have “good interpersonal skills.”
Don’t say you hate people, just pick a different trait to emphasize.
Writing a resume may seem scary and intimidating.
You have to catch the attention of hiring managers within the first few seconds.
Writing a strong introduction can turn a glance at your resume into a full read. Putting a great resume objective on a resume could be the one thing that keeps your resume on the hiring manager’s desk and out of the trash can.
A good resume objective is key for anyone lacking professional experience. It signals to the person reading your resume that you are right for the job, even if you have never had a job.
Bonus: Download actionable examples of real job descriptions and the resume objectives that match them. "Resume Objective Examples for Your Profession.”
Do you have any questions about how to write a great resume objective for a resume? Leave a comment. We'll be happy to help.