How to Write a Career Objective Statement in Your Resume

Resume Objective Examples & Writing Guide for 2020 February 06, 2020 · 11 min read

Scratching your head over the questions what is a resume objective statement or what should a resume objective include? Ponder no more, we’ve got your back…

When you write your resume objective, it describes what you want to achieve in the job you’re applying for.

Get your resume objective spot on and you will be showing the recruiter that you’re the perfect candidate for the job. It works wonders, especially if you’re fresh on the job market or changing careers.

Keep it short and succinct; it shouldn’t be more than 2-3 sentences long and it goes right at the top of your first page.

Career objective is a short statement for 2-3 sentences to show your professional goals.Career objective is a short heading statement for 2-3 sentences to show your professional goals.

When is a resume objective necessary?

To grab the attention of a recruiting manager, you need to have a well thought out resume objective. It’s most important to include in a resume when you’re looking to switch careers or you’re new or nearly-new to job hunting.

But take note…

As simple as having an “objective”, you don’t want to state the glaringly obvious fact that you’re looking for a job. Don’t drag your resume back into the dark days of the nineties with trite statements like “I’m looking for a role that will challenge me and I can develop my skills and grow as a leader”.

Pro-Tip
It’s important to know the difference between a resume objective and a cover letter; both target why you’re perfect for a specific role but a resume objective is a lot shorter and doesn’t directly address the audience. For more details about a resume and cover letter, check our ultimate guide on how a resume and a cover letter are different.

When Do You Need A Resume Objective

  • Not got a lot or any previous work experience?
  • Looking to change industries or career paths?
  • Are you specifically aiming to get the one dream job?

If you’ve given a “YES” to one of these, then you’re ripe to get writing the perfect resume object, so keep reading!

If none of these questions apply to you, you probably don’t need to spend your time on a resume objective. Consider an alternative addition to your text, like a “Resume Summary Statement”.

Pro-Tip
Resumes that go to the top of the pile include details like your contact information, work history, your education, and the skills you have. For the inside track on what should and shouldn’t make it on your page, check out our ultimate resume guide.

How to Write Resume Career Objective

Once you’ve figured out that you need a resume objective statement, the next big question is what should resume objective say? Follow these three tips to teach you how to write a good resume objective:

  • Don’t get too wordy. This isn’t where you come to show off your words! Keep your sentences clear and active; make sure every word has a purpose.
  • Make it obvious which job you want. Give the job title you’re going for and set goals for the exact industry and job that you want to land.
  • Tell them what you’re capable of achieving for them. Align what you can do with what the company needs; look back at the job advertisement for details. This is where you can really show how you’re different from the rest of the applicants.

This a quick reference point for what you should and shouldn’t do in your resume objective:

The best resume objectives:
  • Shine a light on your skills
  • Explain your industry or role experience
  • Showcase your relevant qualifications, education, and training
The best resume objectives DON’T:
  • Say you want to get the job only
  • Focus on your personal career goals only
  • Stay vague and unfocused
Pro-Tip
Change your resume objective depending on the job you’re applying for. You want to be the best candidate the hiring manager looks at, so aim directly at the job you’re applying for. Unless you’re a knight living in Westeros, and every noble house is looking for the same noble skills, we swear by the old gods and the new that you need to go further than a “one size fits all” resume objective.

The next question is can a resume objective be two sentences? As a standard, you should be aiming to make it three sentences:

  1. In the first sentence cover how long you’ve worked in the chosen industry and exactly what you have done before in that field
  2. For the second sentence tell them what you have that makes you a great candidate for the exact job you’re applying to, keep it relevant
  3. Your third sentence needs to contain details of your degree, licenses, certificates, and qualifications that you’ve got

To bring this to life, here’s what you’d write as your resume objective as a customer service professional, in line with the bullet points:

1 Customer Service Officer with more than 6 years in sales roles both remotely and face-to-face, along with financial servicing, and account management.
2 With a solid track record in customer care, revenue generation, and outstanding communication, I want to take on the challenge of Team Leader in your organization. 3 Holding a BA in Communications.

Strong Resume Objective Examples

That’s the rules out of the way, now it’s time to get down to business. Here, we’ve got some examples of resume objectives that cover some real-world industries and professions.

Retail Manager Resume Objective Sample

4 years of experience working as a Head Cashier, focusing on luxury service, recording daily accounts, and managing inventory. My skills and expertise are perfectly suited to fill the position of Retail Manager in your outlet. Holding a Bachelor’s in English.

Accounting Resume Objective

Certified Public Accountant with ledger processing, account reconciliation, and account streamlining covering more than 7 years. Aiming to crossover into corporate banking management, leveraging a strong financial background. Holding a Bachelor’s in Accounting and an MBA with a focus on financial management.

Tutor Resume Objective

Dynamic and engaging private tutor, experienced in SAT and ACT tuition; a previous student raised SATs score from 1100 to 1400 combined. Aiming to develop a career path as a tutor. Davidson College graduate with a 3.9 GPA along with the leadership of a successful peer tutoring group over three years. SAT score in the top 0.05% of the country.
Pro-Tip
When writing the resume objective, be sure you have written the name of the job you’re applying for the same as it had been mentioned in the vacancy. Otherwise, it will look as if you by yourself don’t know what profession you want to have.

What’s Best for a Career Change or a Recent Graduate?

Whatever your current professional level or work history, adding a resume objective is the ideal way to stand your head and shoulders above your competition. There are times that adding an objective are going to really make you stand out:

For career changers: you’re going to want to include a resume objective when changing careers. When you’re taking your career in a fresh direction, you can use an objective statement to show the recruiter exactly what you’re looking to achieve and why you’re making the move.

To show you what a resume objective would look like when changing careers:

Successful engineer aiming to change professions and move into business management. Seeking a chance to use project management and leadership skills in a fresh context and use my eye for detail to drive growth in a technology start-up.

When you’re just out of college: you’ve got your degree but little if any practical experience in the world of work. In this case, a resume object will show a recruiting manager that you understand the job role and your ambition matches the company plans.

For a recent graduate that’s looking to get into a nursing program, an object would look something like this:

An enthusiastic nursing student aiming to gain more skills and contact time with elderly patients. Having volunteered at the Charleston Care Center, my patience with, and understanding of geriatric care will help build patient relationships. Graduated with a 3.7 GPA from Jefferson College of Nursing

Resume Objective or Resume Statement?

As useful as a resume objective will be for plenty of jobseekers, there are times when a resume summary is going to do the job better.

Remember…

You can’t switch up a resume objective and a resume summary statement.

Your resume objective is a great option for recent graduates, those who are just entering the job market and those who are changing careers. A resume objective is a lot more than just saying to want to get the job. It’s there to show the recruiter how you can use your skills, abilities, and knowledge to help move the company forward.

Sections “Objective” and “Summary” in a resume.Though the “Objective” and “Summary” look like synonyms, you need to know that they play different roles in your resume.

In contrast, a resume statement is more suitable for those with some experience. It is a brief, clear, and concisely worded set of sentences that sum up your previous experience and skills. You can use bullets to put this together; each one should be put together with care to show off your achievements and skills.

To show the difference, we’ve got some resume summaries and objective statements to compare:

It’s really important you don’t forget to include a line so that the recruiter knows what you’re looking to achieve if you get the job.

Resume Objective
For fresh grads, new workers,
and career changers
Resume Summary
For those who hold some experience
For a fresh graduate
Motivated and skilled student (3.5/4.0 GPA) who displays strong leadership skills and ability to organize. Aiming to apply my academic experience in the marketing internship available in your company.
Customer Advisor with nearly a decade of experience ready to work towards your business targets. Here’s the short list of my strengths:
  • Skilled in complaint handling and resolution and servicing accounts;
  • Customer satisfaction annual score of 93%;
  • A team-player with an eye on the prize;
  • Attention to detail is a recognized strong point.
First step in a career
A bubbly and dedicated parent seeking an entry-level janitorial position. Driven to use my skills and knowledge in home maintenance to offer a clean, healthy, and safe environment for your staff.
Marketing Project Lead with 4 years of experience in corporate sales and leading a team:
  • Launched 10 successful projects;
  • Developed 2 marketing departments;
  • Achieved 115% of revenue KPIs for the last two financial years.
Changing Industries
Talented and friendly administrator wanting to move into customer service. Seeking to harness my ability to manage priorities and keen attention to detail to exceed your clients’ demands.
Supply Chain Analyst with a stellar record of developing customer accounts and building company revenue streams:
  • Identified and implemented resolution in invoice processing across the department;
  • Reduced write-offs by 59% on previous job;
  • Achieved a gross operative margin of 22%.

The Take-Home…

Bringing this all to a point; you need a resume objective if you’re moving between sectors or have a specific job in mind for your CV. No matter what, if you’re getting onto the first few rungs of the career ladder with an entry-level job, you need a resume objective, too.

Pro-Tip
Resume objectives work best when you can’t show much in the way of experience in the industry you want to move into; usually, they’re used by people making a lateral career shift or those seeking entry-level roles.

Think of your resume objective like your quick pitch to the recruiter. You give the goal for your time working in the company and show off some of the best skills to show where your value to the company lies.

As an alternative, you can use a resume summary to demonstrate to the hiring manager what your background and professional qualifications are. An outstanding and professional resume summary will give details about your level of experience, key career achievements, the field you work in where relevant, and your goal for the job you’re applying for.

To wrap it all up into what to say in a resume objective, a good resume objective will have:

  • A declaration of a powerful characteristic to show you’re motivated
  • Your current job role
  • 2–3 of your skills that can add value
  • A direct reference to the role you’re applying for
  • Exactly what you offer to bring to the current role in terms of skills and value

When you’re looking for a great resume, you just need to check out our gallery of resume templates. They’re free to download, and will help you get through the door and into the interview stage!