Here’s one I really like that one of my former students wrote:
Objective: To manage people, interface with customers, and work with highly technical software or hardware applications.
I like it because it’s specific but not limiting. This objective wouldn’t work for everyone, but it’s an effective approach for a new graduate. While the statement could apply to many different jobs, the skills described are quite specific.
Here’s another that mentions specific skills but could apply to a number of different positions:
Objective: To deploy personal calling toward lifelong learning and guiding personal, institutional, and community change.
For more than 100 samples of effective objective statements, see the end of this chapter.
Among the elements that an objective can include are:
- Name or title of desired position
- Field or industry
- Strongest skills and/or areas of experience
- The job-seeker’s Unique Selling Proposition: The one attribute that makes you more qualified for the job than anyone else.
- How/what you expect to contribute
Guidelines for writing an objective statement
- Make it very specific, not vague, generic, or meaningless.
- Think of your objective statement as a headline for your resume – a concise phrase that captures the essence of what you can contribute to an employer and draws the reader into your resume. Another analogy is a thesis statement on a research paper. Still another is the subject line of an e-mail message.
- Objectives should reflect the employer’s perspective, not the job-seeker’s, and should tell what the job-seeker can contribute. An objective should demonstrate the value the candidate will add to the organization.
- Objectives should be as concrete and concise as possible. Generally, they should be no more than two lines in length.
- Since you need every possible opportunity to use keywords in your resume (see why in Chapter 2), try to use words related to your intended job field in your objective statement.
- Even if you’re a new graduate or otherwise just entering the job market, don’t label yourself as inexperienced and lacking ambition by using the words “entry-level.”
- Conversely, don’t expose yourself to age discrimination by touting 25 or 30 years of experience in your objective statement. If you have more than 15 years of experience, say “15+ years of experience” or “extensive experience.”