How to Write a Career Objective

business professional

A Career Objective, sometimes called a Resume Objective, is the most common and most traditional introductions for a resume. It is usually very direct and to the point.

But, there is a right way and a wrong way to write one. Here we will go over how to get yours right as well as show you some quality Career Objective examples.

Career Objective Tips and Strategies

What this writing guide will cover:

The first thing you have to decide is whether or not this is the correct introduction for your resume.

Who should use a Career Objective

  • You don’t have any work experience
  • You only have a little work experience
  • You have work experience, but it’s mostly in entry-level or low-skill positions

Who should not use one

  • You have several years of experience in a position that requires a certain amount of learned skills
  • You have a large cache of job relevant skills that you have applied in a job or research position
  • You have mid-level or senior level experience

If this fits your needs, keep reading. But, if you think you should use another opening, check out this guide on how to write a resume that goes over some alternatives.

What you should include

writing skills

Make a list of relevant skills you can reference.

The most important thing to remember when writing your resume is that you should be tailoring it for the position you’re applying for. That means your career objective must include information that the company finds relevant and fitting.

Don’t forget that this is the opening of your resume, so take a little resume real estate to introduce yourself. One or two sentences should be plenty, and don’t forget to include which position you’re applying for.

Also, you want to tell the company what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. The trick here is to sell them a skill you have or a previous accomplishment while at the same time show how you can help their company.

All in all, you should be able to fit this information in three to four sentences.

What you should not include

This section is all about letting the hiring manager or HR representative get a quick idea about who you are and what benefit the company would gain by hiring you. Therefore, it’s not place to include your personal goals.

Do not include I want phrases. A couple examples of that would be:

  • I want to work my way into management.
  • I want the opportunity to advance my career.

A hiring manager is not concerned with how the company can help you fulfill your personal goals.

Also, do not include personal information like your hobbies or information irrelevant to the position or company. It serves as fluff and basically wastes the reviewer’s time.

Lastly, never name drop on your resume. If you want to mention that you were referred to apply from a current employee, do so on your cover letter.

Career Objective Examples

One of the best ways to get an idea of what separates a great Career Objective from a not so good one is to compare a few examples. Take a look at the samples below.

Change this:

My name is Mary Rodriguez. I would like to grow as a customer service representative. I have experience in this field.

To this:

Diligent and motivated customer service professional. Seeking to fulfill the requirements of the customer service representative position at [COMPANY NAME]. Looking to use my three years of experience to assist customers while supporting a positive company image.

Why?

In the first example Mary told us here name, but we already know that as it’s in the resume heading. Then in her second sentence she proceeds to tell us what she wants without much information on why it would benefit the company. Finally she let’s us know she has experience, but doesn’t say how much.

Now, take a look at the revised version.

Mary uses very strong adjectives to describe herself instead of just repeating her name. Then she let’s us know what position she wants and even mentions the company by name. Finally she gives an exact number of years of relevant experience.

It’s easy to see why the second version would be more appealing to a hiring manager and much more likely to result in an interview request, as long as the rest of her resume was decent.

Now let’s look at another example.

Change this:

I am pursing a career as a sales representative in the automotive industry. I have works sales in other industries, but not in the automotive one. I would like to chance to grow into that role.

To this:

Compassionate hard-working sales professional looking to fill the automotive sales opening for [COMPANY NAME]. Four years of successful big-ticket sales experience with a high closing rate.

Why?

In this example the first attempt is both generic and self-centered. It doesn’t give the potential employer any useful information about the applicant.

The corrected version let’s the company know exactly what position he or she is applying for. It mentions the company by name. And, it says exactly how much experience the applicant has.

Another point to mention is that though this career objective doesn’t mention direct experience in the industry of this particular open position, he or she does mention that they have experience with similarly priced products.

In Summary

Career Objectives are a great way to catch the interest of a hiring manager quickly. As long as you make sure your opening is assertive, directed at the company and the position that are hiring for, and quantifies your skills or experience, you’re sure to improve your chances in getting a call back for an interview.

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