CVS / APR. 20, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Write a Career Objective

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You might be dependable and eager to learn, but it’s what you put on your resume that gets your foot in the door. A single job posting can trigger a flood of resumes. And if an employer must hire someone within a short window, he or she may not give each resume equal attention. Therefore, your resume needs to grab the hiring manager’s attention from the beginning -- and it all starts with your career objective. 

This short blurb at the top of your resume explains your professional goals, and briefly states why you’re applying with the company. The career objective might not be "the meat" of a resume, but this doesn’t suggest filling this space with anything.

The truth is, some job seekers focus so much attention of highlighting special skills, education and work experience that they completely ignore the objective. For this matter, they might include a short, boring sentence, such as: A position to utilise my customer service skills, or a position that will allow me to grow professionally.

Yes, both statements explain what each applicant is looking for, but they don’t provide employers with anything else. Remember, this is the employer’s first impression of you. And if other applicants provide stellar career objectives, employers will not be impressed with your cookie-cutter objective, and they might pass on the opportunity to interview you. 

Here are three tips to help you write an attention-grabbing career objective. 

#1 Start By Identifying Yourself

In other words, figure out who are you? A student? An English graduate? An accountant? When introducing yourself, use two or three words or phrases to describe your strongest work abilities, such as hard-working or dependable; or include additional information, such as years of experience or degrees. This provides the employer with a snapshot into your background, which can help him know you as a person; and they can use this information to immediately decipher whether your skills will be a match for the company. 

#2 State the Position You’re Applying For

Sometimes, employers advertise for more than one position at a time. Therefore, hiring managers need to know the position you’re interested in. After introducing yourself, mention the role you’re applying for. Be specific, but not too specific as this might limit your opportunities within an organisation.

Begin this sentence with a verb, such as seeking or aiming. Also, list specific qualities that make you the strongest candidate for the position. These qualities should be relevant to the position. For example, if you’re applying for a job as an administrative assistant, relevant qualities might include excellent customer service skills, strong communication skills, and impeccable organizational skills. 

#3 Mention What You Can do for the Company

It’s important to sell yourself when vying for a position, but you shouldn’t focus too much on yourself. In the end, employers need to know how your skills and experience will help or benefit the company. End your career objective with a brief statement that states your willingness to help the company achieve its goals. 

Good Examples of Career Objectives:

Example #1: Recent graduate with an MBA in Business Administration and six years of human resource experience. Seeking a position as a human resource manager where I can expand my leadership skills and utilise my strong organisational skills. I am dedicated team player committed to promoting employee relations and improving the strength of your company’s workforce. 

Example #2: Hard-working student with proven organisational skills. Seeking an entry-level customer service position where I can apply my computer and communication skills, and gain new experience in a team-oriented environment. I am an enthusiastic and reliable professional eager to help your company achieve its sales goals. 

Example #3: Highly-motivated, detail-oriented professional with more than 10 years experience as a system engineer. Seeking a position as a project manager in order to apply my managerial, IT, and analytic skills. I am a disciplined and strategic professional eager to meet company’s goals and objectives with integrity. 

Bottom Line

Career objectives may start as an introduction. However, what you say (or don’t say) in your objective can determine whether an employer continues reading or tosses your resume aside. 

What other elements do you feel contribute to a career-grabbing career objective?

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