Writing a resume objective was once the first thing students did when writing a resume, but today it has more specific applications for those without experience or those with experience not directly related to the field they want to work in. Resume objectives are short, to-the-point statements that introduce your student skill sets in the context of a specific job. Summary statements have replaced the resume objective, giving students with varied experience the chance to transition their resumes from academia to their first jobs or to request increased levels of responsibility.
How You Used to Write a Student Resume Objective
Writing a resume objective for students begins with assessing your level of academic experience. Resume objectives are still very useful for students seeking entry-level positions, those changing fields or those who are looking for a promotion. For example, if you studied nursing and had advanced coursework that involved actual experience working under a certified nurse, you would use your objective to explain how this experience transfers well to a medical technician job. Objectives were created to put the information within a student resume into a practical context that would appeal to employers. Consider the following examples of writing a resume objective for students:
Engineering graduate with hands-on laboratory experience seeks entry-level position at New Town Mechanics.
Certified nursing assistant with home companion work experience looking for position at a long-term care facility.
How to Write a Student Resume Summary Statement
Unlike writing a resume objective, writing a summary statement allows you to focus on multiple areas of your student experience. From coursework you took that is particularly relevant to the job you are applying for to internship experiences, your summary statement is four to six lines of overview of your student career. A summary statement should focus on the specific strengths and skills you gained as a student that are transferable to your chosen career path. Include such information as academic honors and recognition, certifications and the soft skills you have gained through life as a student. Consider the following examples of a summary section written for students seeking their first post-graduate jobs:
Experienced graduate student with four years of work experience as a desk worker in the campus library and supervisory experience in the periodicals department. Strong interpersonal skills, organized and methodical. Goal-oriented and committed.
Anthropology major with three field expeditions in Africa and Laos, dependable in high-pressure situations. Experienced in sample collection, cataloging and current excavation methods and procedures. Fluent in Lao.
Each of these summary statements is written in such a way that emphasizes the student's practical experiences within the broader context of their education. Show employers the experiences and positive attributes you have gained as a result of your education. While a resume objective states what you want from an employer, a student summary statement gives you the chance to demonstrate how your educational experiences would benefit the employer if you are hired.
Writing a resume objective and writing a summary statement may seem similar at first, but you can see how different these processes are in the context of the student resume. A resume summary statement lets you sell your skills and educational experiences without the narrower focus of a resume objective.
The advice and techniques given on LiveCareer may be helpful as you strive to create a dynamic resume statement that fully showcases the unique experiences and practical skill sets you gained while obtaining your degree.