A resume objective is one of those resume elements that can, if used properly, grab the attention of a hiring manager and land you an interview by itself. It isn’t mandatory to include an objective, but many job hunters include one to strengthen their resume and stand out from other candidates.
The fact that you have an objective on your resume will catch the hiring manager's eye. Once the hiring manager focuses on your objective, you have only a few words to convince them to keep reading.
1. Know what an objective is before you start writing.
A resume objective is a summary of your accomplishments that precedes an explanation of your career goals. It’s a narrative that takes the hiring manager from where you’ve been, to where you want to go. It needs to be concise and to the point, but it also needs to be comprehensive to be effective.
In many ways, an objective replaces much of the detail you would put in your professional experience section. Instead of explaining what you’ve done with each job, you’d summarize it in the objective and then explain how you want to use your experience to further your career.
2. Offer the company value.
One of the biggest mistakes job hunters make with their objectives is that they focus the objectives on what they want to do with their careers, without any regard for the company they’re applying to. A successful objective is tailored to appeal directly to the hiring manager you’re applying to. You need to explain how your experience and your career goals will benefit the company going forward, if you want to win the job.
3. Two styles of resume objectives are acceptable.
Some job hunters like their objective narrative to be in a neat list that goes in chronological order from one point to the next. A list format allows for a smooth transition from describing your experience to explaining how that experience can help the company. Lists, as a general rule, are also easier to write.
Others like to write an objective in a full paragraph that tells a story. The paragraph summarizes the job hunter's experience, and outlines their career goals. If you choose to go with a paragraph narrative, then your creative writing skills need to be strong. Your information is based on fact, but the presentation needs to be interesting if the hiring manager is going to read two or more full sentences.
4. Always do your homework before creating an objective.
If you choose to use an objective, and you’re sending out 100 resumes, then you’ll have 100 different objectives to write. This is one reason why some job hunters avoid objectives. But the opportunity to customize your pitch so that it speaks directly to the hiring manager can go a long way towards securing you an interview.
When you write an objective for a resume going to the XYZ Company, then that’s how you address the reader in your objective. Instead of mentioning how you can “help your company succeed," state directly that you can “help XYZ Company to succeed." Be sure to address specifics about the position you’re applying for, and point out areas where your professional experience would give you the inside track to being the ideal candidate.
Resume Objectives Can Be the Difference Maker
When you commit to using resume objectives, you’ve added a lot of hard work to your resume writing tasks. But with the help of the resources on LiveCareer, you can write a great resume objective that will get you hired. Use LiveCareer’s resume builder and resume writing resources to craft a truly unique resume objective.