Your resume objective is the first thing a hiring manager or future employer will read on your resume. Here are a few tips to make sure your objective is appropriate and memorable.
If you are just starting out and have little professional experience, it is common to use the objective to share with your future employer what you are hoping to gain from the position you are applying for. As an example, an entry level candidate might write:
“To find a position and company where I can utilize my professional skills, where I can gain industry knowledge, and where there is room for advancement.”
There are many good things about this type of an objective. First, it is general enough that it doesn’t tie the applicant to one particular position so the resume can be used to for many job openings. Second, it implies an intention to be loyal to one company with the intention for advancement. And, third, it shares the applicant’s career desires.
However, there are many things about this objective that could also be destructive, as well. In today’s job market, companies are looking for employees who can bring something exceptional to the table. With so many people applying for the same position, hiring managers need to be convinced that a particular employee is worth the time for an interview. This type of objective does not highlight the candidate’s capabilities nor does it convince the future employee that the applicant really wants the particular job that is open.
Whether your are an entry level candidate or a long term professional, in today’s job market it is essential that you catch your reader right from the beginning. Your objective needs to clear, focused, and assertive. For example, a focused entry level or professional might write:
“Dedicated, hard-working Accounting Professional with expertise in accounts payable support. Proven ability to organize and streamline systems, improve efficiency, and build effective teams. Recognized for interpersonal skills, reliability, and commitment to the company’s overall objectives.”
In this brief opening paragraph the candidate has clearly stated his or her career focus (pursuing a position in accounting), highlighted specific skills and abilities that would be a benefit to the employer, and shared particular character traits that would make this person stand out from the rest. With this focused objective, the reader can continue through the rest of the resume without having to “hunt” for what the candidate might be good at or the position that they intend to apply for. Instead, the applicants intentions are clear and the employer knows what the person can bring to the table.
Check out our other articles for more help on whether to use an entry level vs professional resume format.
Tips to Remember
1. Clearly state your career focus such as Accounting Professional, Human Resources Generalist, Finance Manager. You can start with your focus at the beginning or, as shown above, include it in the first line of your objective paragraph.
2. Keep the paragraph relatively short but do highlight particular strengths or capabilities so future employers will see that you will be a benefit to them.
3. While it is good to include character traits, choose ones that would be valued in your chosen industry and limit them to only a few.
4. Avoid using substantial years in terms of experience. This can imply age and may suggest that the candidate is unable or unwilling to adapt to new technology or industry advancements.
5. Do not use pronouns. Your resume is not a letter. Instead use short, action oriented sentences.
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