Resumes

Do I Need an Objective on My Resume?

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As you build your resume, you may wonder if you should include an objective at the top. If you keep your resume objective relevant and directed toward the specific position you’re applying for, it can be a great way to explain how you plan to apply your skills toward your desired role. Before deciding on a resume objective, this article shares some tips to make sure you thoroughly understand what it is and how to write one.

What is a resume objective? 

A resume objective is a brief one or two sentence statement listed at the top of your resume that details your career goals. Applicants often use an objective to mention the job title they’re aiming to obtain. You may also use a resume objective to introduce the skills you have and how you plan to use them in the position you’re applying for. If you have any relevant experience, you can mention it in your objective as well to emphasize your qualifications for the role. If an objective is listed properly on your resume and includes keywords and relevancy to the job posting, it can act as a strong introduction that encourages an employer to read more.

Do I need to include an objective on my resume?

While some hiring managers and applicants believe a resume objective may be less relevant to job positions, there are still moments when an objective statement can make your resume stand out. An objective can mention the skills you excel in and how you plan to apply them toward the role. For example, you can include an objective statement on your resume if you want or need to highlight skills over experience. This can apply to recent graduates or someone switching to a different career field.

Using an objective statement can also clearly explain the career you’re searching for, especially if you’re searching for a position in a new industry or career field. An objective statement can help you narrow down the focus of your resume to your most relevant skills, especially if you haven’t yet gained much professional experience that directly relates to the job.

What’s the difference between an objective and a summary?

Some of the differences between a resume objective and summary include:

Relevant experience

The summary uses one to three sentences to explain an applicant’s experience and relate it directly to the requirements within the job listing. An objective is one or two sentences to explain an applicant’s career goals while also addressing the specific job and company being applied to. 

Goals and expectations

A summary rarely states the applicant’s career goals and instead focuses more directly on the candidate’s experience and qualifications. In contrast, an objective usually explicitly states what the candidate hopes to achieve in the new position.

A focus on experience or skills

Many candidates use a summary statement if they hold many years of relevant experience and can mention how this experience can be used toward the position they’re applying for. An objective is more often used by candidates with little to no experience who instead list their skills and emphasize how they plan to use these skills toward their desired career.

Some employers may prefer summaries over objectives as an alternative or personal preference. Either option comes with their own benefits, so it’s important to understand the differences between the two before deciding on which one to add to your resume.

How to write a good objective statement

Here are the steps you can follow to write an effective objective statement that provides value and relevance to a hiring manager:

1. First, review the job posting 

Before drafting your objective statement, view the job posting for the position you’re applying for. Note any preferred skills or qualifications, and try to mention a few in your objective statement. Aligning your skills with the ones listed in the job posting helps the hiring manager better picture your success in the role. You can also use the responsibilities listed in the job posting as a guide when explaining your previous duties and responsibilities in your objective. 

2. Second, state how you’ll apply relevant skills to the position

As you draft your objective, mention your skills and how you plan to apply them to the position. You can also explain how you’ve used these skills in previous roles and how they led you to success. For example, you can explain how you used your time management skills to complete three projects a day for your previous employer.

3. Next, list your relevant job responsibilities and experience

If you see certain responsibilities mentioned in the job posting, you can explain any similar duties you completed at your previous position. You should remain specific and detailed when explaining your experience, and state any positive results you got when completing certain tasks or responsibilities. This allows hiring managers to gain more knowledge of the work you completed in your previous role and how that experience can be used in the new position.

4. Finally, mention career goals directed toward the role and company

As you mention your career goals and the job title you plan to hold, make this statement relevant and directed toward the specific role and company. For example, if you’re applying for an account manager position in a marketing agency, make sure your objective reflects your desire to use your skills to provide the employer with the qualified manager they’re looking for.

Mentioning your career goals in your resume objective shows how ambitious and driven you are, which are qualities that may stand out to hiring managers. It can also encourage them to pay more attention to the rest of your resume, where you can further outline your skills and qualifications.

Examples of strong objective statements

Here are some examples of objective statements you can use according to different job titles: 

Sales account executive

Example: ‘Seeking a sales internship to apply my persuasive and motivational communication skills. Driven sales professional who assisted previous sales managers in building sales strategies and enhancing product revenue by 45% annually.’

Nurse 

Example: ‘Compassionate and caring recent graduate and registered nurse searching for a position within a hospital environment. Hoping to apply my advanced knowledge in cardiology and human anatomy to a position that focuses on improving patient health and providing the best care.’

Teacher 

Example: ‘Passionate teacher seeking to obtain a first-grade teaching position that encourages classroom creativity and motivates students to enhance their academic knowledge. High level of experience using technology to adapt to various learning styles of students.’