Effective resume objectives generate interest at first glance during your job search. Your objective statement is the first thing an employer sees. Rev up your resume with these easy guidelines and sample resume objectives.
Let’s face it; resumes do not make the most exciting reading. And an objective statement is often the worst part. Most job seekers do not have any idea about how to make themselves stand apart from the crowd. That’s good news for you, because with just a little effort, you can cut through the clutter and get a potential employer to pay attention.
Put yourself in the shoes of the person reading your resume, faced with reviewing hundreds of resumes for an open position. Most resumes are made up of a mishmash of history requiring the hiring manager, headhunter or HR professional to decipher whether or not it is a match for the job.
For example, suppose the head of a small technology company places an ad online to find controller in their accounting department. A few days later they have received 367 resumes. To make matters worse, while the applicants have similar accounting experience, they come from a variety of backgrounds. It’s clear that many applicants are just using a shotgun approach to apply for the job–and the person hiring has no clear way of knowing whether any of them are really up to the challenge that the position demands.
Most of the resumes begin with a vague and meaningless objective like this: Objective: To obtain a senior executive level position in Finance, Accounting, Treasury or in Internal Audit. Another real example: Objective: Seeking a position where my skills, training and experience can be fully utilized.
Yaaaawwwn. As their eyes begin to glaze over, they come across a resume that starts like this:
Innovative, results-oriented financial executive, capable of building focused teams, implementing rapid transitions and positively impacting the bottom line and corporate culture, seeking position as Controller in fast-growing technology firm. Ability to assess challenging situations, identify critical issues, then formulate and enact solutions quickly and decisively.
Now that gets them interested. It quickly answers the question, “Why should I consider you for this role?” It gives the employer a reason to pay attention to the rest of your resume to validate what a great match you are.
That’s what a resume objective statement or resume summary is supposed to do. They allow you to get right to the point, showing the reader in just a few words why you are the perfect candidate for their specific job. This clarity of purpose is then supported by the details that follow in the rest of your resume.
Now, some might argue that objectives are a worthless waste of time. And I would agree if yours is like the first one above—it is easy to write a worthless objective. But heed this career advice: If you can answer the question, “Why should I consider you” in a way that adds a bit of punch, you’ll be miles ahead of the crowd.
Career advice for writing great resume objectives
What’s the key to a great resume objective?
- Do your homework and put yourself in the employer’s shoes.
- Put your research into words as it relates to you. Your resume objective should reflect the specific job at hand. If you want to grab the attention of the employer, your resume objective should be as much about them as it is about you.
- Clearly define the position you are seeking and articulate relevant achievements, compelling qualities or activities that make you stand out from other applicants. How do you know what those most compelling qualities are? Through research you do that provides an understanding of the industry, company and its specific job description.
This makes an effective resume objective.
Try this resume objective format to get started, then play with the wording a bit to get it to read as smoothly as possible:
A (list position you are applying for) position in a company where (relevant achievements, compelling qualities or experience), (relevant achievements, compelling qualities or experience) and (relevant achievements, compelling qualities or experience) can (reflect company or department goal).
Here are a couple more samples to get you thinking:
Highly motivated, organized and proactive marketing coordinator with strong communications skills and a proven track record of problem solving, seeking a position in a growing advertising agency.
Strong communicator and creative problem solver skilled at analyzing business needs and transforming them into technical designs seeks position as project manager requiring technical skills and business knowledge to achieve the required results.
Be sure to add some sizzle, focus on the personal qualities and accomplishments that make you stand out from the crowd. Then back it up with specifics.
Above all, tailor your resume objective for the position you are applying for. When you get specific, you can better answer the question, “Why should I consider you?” If you’re posting online, tailor it to the position you’re targeting. Having an objective that is perfectly matched with the position you are applying for is the key to sparking interest in a potential employer. Everybody is looking for WIIFM (what’s in it for me).
Spend the time thinking through your objective statement. It may take some fine tuning, but the result will be worth it! And now that you have the attention of your future employer, see this additional career advice to be sure the rest of your resume wins the interview!