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How to Use a Resume Objective

Tips & Advice on Using it Effectively

Get some useful tips and advice on the best ways to use a resume objective to communicate your worth to an employer.

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State your resume objective with concise and punchy language

On the job objectives overview page, you learned what an objective is and some of the pitfalls of using one. You also got a suggestion on using a summary of qualifications instead of a job objective.

But if you're still determined to use an objective, because you think that's what'll work best for you, then it's my job to help you do it in the best way possible. So this page will give you some tips and advice on using resume objectives effectively.

Keep in mind that the objective is the first thing hiring managers will see when they look at your resume. If it's not a great introduction to you, the rest of your resume may never even be read. So, make sure the objectives your create provide an introduction that instantly suggests how you would fit into the job you're applying for.

When a Resume Objective Might Actually Work Best

Entry level job applicants might benefit from using a job objective

There are a few situations where it might actually be preferable to use a job objective over a qualifications summary.

  • Entry level applicants and recent graduates. This group often prefers to use objectives, because they provide focus to a resume that can't yet include much work experience. Even if you have one or two years of work experience, an objective might provide a better impact than a weak-looking summary.

  • Career changers. People who are trying to change careers might want to use objectives to show employers what they can bring to the organization in the way of transferable skills, despite a lack of directly relevant experience.

  • People in creative careers. When recent experience doesn't reflect the breadth of your creative abilities, you can use a resume objective to show how your creativity can be tapped to benefit the employer.

A Few Quick Tips...

Keep your resume objective targeted and meaningful

Always tailor your objective to match the job you're applying for. This is important. If your job objective isn't customized effectively, it won't seem relevant to the hiring manager. It's also important to be specific. Vague, generic objectives aren't meaningful to anyone.

Remember to place your focus on how hiring you will benefit the employer, not on how you'll benefit from being hired. Avoid a resume objective that states your personal preferences or that is vague, such as "seeking a challenging position where I can grow with the company." Strive to match your strengths and desires with the company's advertised needs and goals.

Keep it short and to the point. Hiring managers are pressed for time and often have to review hundreds of resumes for every open position. State your objective as concisely as you can and target it to the desired job and job requirements. Avoid the use of personal pronouns and any phrases that are more about you than the employer.

Use keywords and the language used in the job advertisement. This helps show that you've paid attention to what the employer needs and wants and how you can help them. A strong, powerful and concise objective also shows the potential employer that you understand the needs of their business.

Click here to see some effective examples of job objectives

One Last Thought...

An argument can be made for using both a resume objective AND a summary of qualifications, or at least some kind of skills list. In fact, I found a few sources that did suggest just that.

I leave it up to you... in the end, what you want is a start to your resume that gives that powerful snapshot that shows that you understand what the company needs and you're the perfect candidate to solve their problem. If a resume objective helps you to do that, great!

Learn More About Writing a Resume

Entry level resume examples can help you write a great resume

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