Resume Objectives

What goes in the “Objective” portion of my resume?

Always keep in mind that your resume is nothing more than a tool being used to sell yourself to an employer. It is a piece of advertising. Listing an objective or career goal can be an effective, important piece of this overall package. Your objective should quickly and neatly summarize your abilities and a career goal. It needs to one clear, concise sentence; a short blurb that goes a long way in selling you to them. It will show the employer that you are a skilled professional, familiar with your field and with a goal in mind.

Categories of objectives, and examples

There are several ways you can write your objective. Here are some popular categories an objective can fall into. You can even consider combining them in different ways to find the objective that best suits the situation.

  • The job: think about the position itself and why you want it. “Systems engineer position where I can utilize my troubleshooting skills to improve company infrastructure and grow as a technical asset.”
  • The company: research the company and express why you want to work there. “To obtain a financial analyst position at a green, progressive company where I can help grow the business.”
  • Your skills: summarize what you can do and why you would be an asset to them. “To obtain a human resources position where I can apply my strong people skills, leadership ability and gift for teaching others.”
  • Your goal: list your short term or long term career objective (more on this later).

Tailoring your objective

The whole point of resume writing, which cannot be stressed enough, is that a resume absolutely cannot be generic. Each resume needs to be tailored to the prospective employer in order to tell them exactly what you can you to fill their specific needs. Likewise, your objective must be purposely targeted to this job. The categories above all point to this. You must consider the position at hand, not just your ideal position. Why write an objective where the position doesn’t match? All that does is show them this isn’t your ideal job. If you’re listing some skills in your objective, be sure these are skills the company needs. You’re not writing this to pat yourself on the back; you’re writing a sales pitch. Keep that in mind.

A final word about career goals

Just like everything else, if you list a career goal, it absolutely must be related to the position you are applying for with this specific resume. Long term is okay, short term is better, but either way it simply must somehow tie in to this job. If this job isn’t in your plans, why are you applying for it?