The Resume Objective Statement Explained

Close your eyes and imagine your resume. Underneath that header that includes your name and contact information, what’s the very first section that appears toward the top of your document?

You guessed it—your objective statement.

While it’s a relatively short blurb of text that serves to introduce you as a qualified applicant, it’s actually deceptively tough to write. Many job seekers cringe at the thought of needing to kick off their resume in a way that’s equal parts concise, thorough, and impactful.

Fortunately, it’s doable. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about the resume objective statement.

What is a Resume Objective?

Your objective statement is one or two sentences that appear at the top of your document and explicitly state what sort of job you’re looking for, as well as what skills you hope to make use of in your next role.

The strongest objective statements are those that are specific. By enlightening an employer about your own goals for your profession and your career, you make a powerful impression while also providing some context for the rest of your document.

Additionally, an objective statement makes it evident that you know exactly what you want in your next step. That sort of clarity and drive isn’t always easy to find in job seekers.

Do You Need a Resume Objective Statement?

While resume objectives are a long-standing job search tradition, there are many career experts that find them to be an archaic and outdated practice.

On many resumes, the objective statement has fallen away and been replaced with a career summary section in which the job seeker expands on his or her qualifications, skills, and future goals.

In most cases, a career summary will be your better bet for kickstarting your resume. However, there are some circumstances when an objective can help your case.

For example, if you’re applying at a company (take a retail store, for example) where there are numerous different types of positions, it can help the hiring manager to better understand what specifically you’re looking for. Or, if your experience is rather scattered and varied, an objective statement helps to make your desired role undeniably clear.

How to Write a Resume Objective

With that in mind, if you decide that a traditional resume objective is the way for you to go, you might be wondering just how you should go about crafting your own.

After all, if you ask yourself, “What’s your objective?” you and every other job seeker likely have the same answer: to land a job and get a paycheck.

Obviously, that basic response isn’t going to cut it for your own resume. So, when putting your own statement together, there are two major things you should be sure to include:

  • The type of position you’re seeking
  • What skills and experiences make you qualified for that particular role

Your objective isn’t your opportunity to tell your entire career story and touch on every single one of your major accomplishments—that’s what the rest of your resume is for.

Instead, focus on putting together only one or two sentences that capture these nitty gritty details. Staying concise is one of the most helpful resume objective tips you can utilize when drafting your own objective.

Resume Objective Samples

Now that you know there are two core things you need to include in your objective statement, seeing some examples can help to add some clarity.

Here are a few sample resume objectives you can look to for inspiration when writing your own:

Example 1:

Experienced customer service representative eager to bring three years of experience and a passion for relationship building to an organization that believes the customer comes first.

Example 2:

Highly motivated retail associate seeking a store manager position that will benefit from customer service experience, excellent time management skills, and a friendly and outgoing attitude.

Example 3:

Driven and goal-oriented sales coordinator looking to utilize 10 years of experience and knowledge of sales best practices to help a company achieve their revenue and sales quotas.

Over to You

Writing your own resume objective statement might seem tough. But, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

Stay focused on touching on the nuts and bolts details—including what sort of position you’re after and what skills make you qualified for that—and you’re sure to set the right tone in the very first paragraph of your document.

Written by Kat Boogaard.

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