Resume Help: Clearly Defining Your Objective

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The professional world is torn between whether or not your resume should have an objective statement. Many feel that an objective, when written correctly, adds a sense of personality and purpose to your resume. However, it is universally agreed that an objective statement that has been myopically written dos not add anything to the resume, and actually takes away from it.

My personal opinion is that properly written objective statements are necessary and welcome additions to a resume, though I also feel that if you are unable to write one that falls within that description then you are probably better off without it.

Writing a Good Objective Statement

Like the rest of your resume, your objective needs to be clear, well written, and natural sounding. The most common complaint that I hear has to do with lame, uninspired objective statements that add nothing to the resume, and actually detract from it as they are generally thrown on as an afterthought. For example:

Objective: To gain part time employment.

Now, the employer already knows what you are trying to do- you made an application and submitted your resume, so it’s obvious that you’re looking for a job. What an employer is looking for is something that clearly identifies what your goals are within the company that you’ve applied to (if you haven’t realized that personalizing your resume for individual places of employment triples interview rates, take the hint).

So, let’s make it better:

Objective: To acquire an entry level position as a shoe salesmen that offers the possibility of future growth within the company.

Both of the objectives were for the same job, yet the second one really says a lot more. The first one simply says “I want a job”; the second one says “I want a job that will let me move on and advance, and I want to sell shoes”. If you were an employer, which statement would you think offered a better explanation of what the individuals goals and intentions were?

Your perspective employer doesn’t know a thing about you, so this is your chance to let them know a little bit about who you are and what you want to accomplish. You can do this by your choice of language and expression. Using positive, open language conveys energy and enthusiasm, whereas clean, professional language shows sincerity and ambition. There’s no right or wrong here, as your personality will always show in your writing, regardless of the language that you consciously chose.

To Sum It Up

Your objective is not just some throwaway piece of information that you can just scrape together and toss on the resume. Your objective is an important piece of information that tells your employer a few key things about you and your intentions. Always write your objective in a way that clearly establishes your goals, both present and future.

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9 thoughts on “Resume Help: Clearly Defining Your Objective

  1. Stephanie:
    I was browsing the web & found this article. Thought maybe some of our folks would be interested!! Would’ve sent it myself (to all JPS’s-however-my State email account has been “TU” for over 3 months)!!

  2. Nice post. I really enjoy your style. BTW, I run a Resume Writing Article Directory and if you have some articles for distribution, you are very welcome to post them.
    All the best,

  3. I really need to re-think this. Back when I first started doing my resume, I just left off the objective. I figured it would differ from job to job and I just included it in a custom cover letter.

    1. Tailoring your resume for each possible company or position that you’re applying for will give you a much greater possibility of success. One way to do that is with your objective statement.

  4. How about an Objective that addresses the employer’s needs instead of the applicant’s?
    For example:
    “To help ABC Shoes gain more loyal customers and increase profits by providing exceptional service and becoming your best salesman.”
    Nice topic, nice blog!

    1. That’s perfect! That addresses all aspects of the “marketing mix” from both the employees and employers point of view.

  5. I think when a potential employee is going through your and another hundred or so resumes, it’s very essential that you write short and effective objective. Other notable point is short nicely briefed releveant past experience.

    1. Certain positions may benefit from an objective that is short and to the point, but you should also consider the fact that you need to be memorable somehow.
      Tell them how and why you are a benefit in your objective- they’ll remember you for it.

      1. I definitely agree that a well-written, succinct objective can enhance a resume immensely. Also, I think it doesn’t hurt to get a little creative–why write the standard “Seeking entry-level position…” when you can write something like, “Enthusiastic, goal-oriented public relations specialist who can utilize strong writing skills, analytical thinking, and a personable attitude to enhance the work of [Company x]. Something like this would definitely catch the eye of the HR Manager and set you apart from the rest of the crowd. I definitely struggled with my resume and objective when I was job-seeking…I had some close friends help me out with my formatting, and I also used Razume was helpful because I got feedback from objective, well-versed people. I guess the feedback worked, because now I’ve got some interviews lined up!

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