Traditionally, every resume would incorporate an objective statement: a short paragraph at the top of the page setting out the candidate’s goals. They are less popular today, perhaps because they are so difficult to get right.
However, this does not mean they are no longer relevant. Writing a good objective for your resume can go a long way to persuading a potential employer that you are the best person for the job.
What is a Resume Objective?
As the name suggests, a resume objective is a direct response to the question: “What is the purpose of this resume?” Typically, it will mention the position for which you are applying, alongside a brief discussion of your career ambitions.
Importantly, a resume objective must be highly targeted to the specific role, rather than a generic explanation of your skills. Think of it as a short, eye-catching summary of your career to date and how you want to progress with the organization in question.
What Does a “Good” Objective for Your Resume Look Like?
Traditionally, a good objective for a resume would be along the following lines:
Objective: To secure a role in operations management at a mid-sized accounting firm.
While there is nothing wrong with this approach, there is scope for candidates to take things further by spelling out their career goals and the specific skills that make them so well suited to the role. To do that, you should:
Make It Specific
The more you tailor your resume objective to the specific position, the more persuasive it will be. For that reason, it is best practice to write a fresh objective every time you apply for a new job, or at very least to update a previous objective. Keep it focused on the skills and experiences you possess that are of most relevance to the role.
It is important to keep your goals realistic and relevant to the company in question. There is little point in saying you want to head up a 50-person finance team if the organization for which you are applying only employs a dozen people across all functions. Focus instead on how you want to develop if your application is successful.
Incorporate Key Terms
Every job listing includes keywords and phrases that speak to the demands of the job and the skills expected of the successful candidate. Hiring managers will often scan your resume to identify these terms or may leave it to an automated applicant tracking system to do so. Either way, incorporating keywords can help demonstrate your suitability for the role.
Your resume objective should not be all about what you want; it should also speak to what you can offer. Make it clear why your skills and experiences make you the perfect candidate for the role.
3 Examples of Good Objectives for a Resume
We have discussed the theory behind how to write a good objective for your resume. Now, here are three examples of strong resume objectives that put the above advice into practice.
Objective: To secure a position at Company X where I can make full use of my five years’ experience in project management and take overall responsibility for dynamic projects.
Objective: To land a job that maximizes my superb interpersonal and organizational skills to help Company Y achieve its key business objectives.
Objective: To secure a position at Company Z in which I can leverage my experience in sales leadership to identify new revenue-generating opportunities.