How to Write an Objective Statement
Writing an Objective
A growing trend in new resumes is to give short shrift to or eliminate the "objective" heading altogether. Here are some compelling reasons to include this very important career statement in your resume and a top-10 tips list for writing a memorable one.
Seizing an opportunity to submit as many applications as possible, some job applicants are omitting the traditional objective statement element within their resumes. Rewriting objectives to accommodate every possibility seems challenging, while including over-generalized statements seems to do more harm than good. Nevertheless, when one considers the real purpose of an objective, the inclusion of it appears to be mandatory.
Whether written as "Career Goal", "Objective", or "Position Desired", the time honored first statement is still worthy of its place in a successful resume. When a cover letter cannot be submitted, the objective statement may be the job seeker's only chance to introduce himself. Traditionally, the objective statement has served two purposes. The first obvious purpose is to state clearly for the record, what type of position an applicant desires. Second, this introductory sentence suggests to the potential employer what type of skill set or qualifications the applicant has. A third purpose for an announced career goal, one that is frequently misunderstood or under utilized all together, is the implied employer benefits, or the "what's in it for my company" angle.
Stating your career objective should include a real job title whenever possible. Sentences that skirt concrete job names, such as, "...seeking a position in marketing...", suggests two things to the reader; one, the applicant has no idea about what types of jobs may be available in marketing and two, the applicant is desperate, and willing to take any job. Eagerness is good. Desperation is fatal.
Defining the position desired is much more effective when the company's own job titles are used, such as, "...seeking a Sales Management position..." or "...pursuing an entry-level Public Relations Specialist position...". If you are responding to an advertisement that you have seen, use the terminology in the ad, otherwise, do a little digging. A business's website can be very helpful for locating job title information specific to the company with which you want to apply. Admittedly, it takes a little more effort to customize and rewrite each objective to match a potential employer's need, but the benefits will outweigh the time spent.
Capturing your qualifications in a one or two sentence resume objective can be a challenge, but by using the identified job title combined with a descriptive term such as, "experienced" or "certified", the challenge is easily met. Think about your skill set in broad terms. Are your employment skills developed in areas of administration? In sales? Perhaps you have been employed as a carpenter. Are you skilled in cabinet making or exterior framing? Identifying your general abilities will give you some good leading sentences for your career objective, even in cases where you are looking to change careers. Consider the following examples:
Recent high school graduate, previously employed in fast-food service industry, and aiming for a new position --
Dependable and enthusiastic student with experience in sales and public contact seeking opportunity as a Market Researcher Level I.
Experienced specialty carpenter seeking a supervisor title --
Desire to obtain a Carpenter Shop Foreman position utilizing extensive trade skills and experience in the theatrical and special events industries.
Finally, when writing a career objective, resume writers should consider the potential employer's point of view. In a competitive job market, where hiring personnel sit behind stacks of non-descript resumes, the inclusion of a little "self-promotion" is critical. Ask yourself, "what do I have that this company wants?". Is it doing whatever it takes to get the job done? Is it attention to detail? Then write, "dedicated" or "quality-conscious". Consider terms that describe your work habits while offering something positive for the employer.
Composing a good resume requires focused time and effort. Never try to hurry the process by leaving out the who, what, and why of your employment search. By utilizing the following top-10 tips list as a guide for developing your objective statement, you will be well on your way to creating your own job winning resume.
The Top-10 Tips List for Writing a Winning Objective Statement:
Copyright © 2005, Lisa Casey Perry, All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lisa Casey Perry is the owner of YourWriteSite.com, a writing resource site with articles, samples, and more. YourWriteSite.com also offers custom writing services and an award program aimed at recognizing talented web authors. You may visit YWS at http://www.yourwritesite.com/ or email Lisa at email@example.com.