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Write a Powerful Resume Objective: Examples and Tips

A resume objective is a 2-3 sentence introduction to your professional experience and career goals. Follow our samples and examples to write yours.

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin 3 minute read

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What is an objective for a resume?

A resume objective is a two- to three-sentence summary located at the top of your resume. It provides a bite-sized introduction to your top skills and experience but unlike the resume summary, your resume objective statement also includes your goals and what you’re seeking to accomplish with your resume.

When do you use a resume objective?

It’s best to use a resume objective if you:

  • Have less than two years of experience or no experience
  • Recently graduated from college or high school and are looking for your first job or internship
  • Want a career change
  • Plan to relocate to another state and are seeking employment

Take a look at this example of an objective for a resume and note how it also states the job seeker’s desire for employment:

Caring and friendly high school graduate with babysitting experience seeking part-time job opportunities in day care. Experienced in caring for children ages 4-9. Fun, patient, adaptable and comfortable with small groups.

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Resume Objective Statement Format

Here are the four elements you need to keep in mind when you’re creating your resume objective.

1. Job title

The first thing you need to state is the job title you want to hold or currently hold. This should typically be the same as the specific position you’re applying for, e.g., “Marketing Manager” or “Sales Associate”.

2. Stated objective

Next, indicate your objective. Of course, your ultimate objective is to convince the company to hire you for the position you’re applying for. However, to create an appealing resume objective, you need to make this objective narrow enough to apply to the job listing but broad enough for it to encompass general goals. For example, someone who’s just gotten out of film school may state, “Film editor looking for an entry-level position to build experience in the film industry.”

3. Experience

If you do have experience, your resume objective should state this experience. This can even be true if your experience isn’t technically in the field you’re applying for. “Five years of experience in management” can still hold some weight in other fields, after all. Your best option is to determine how you can weave your professional experience with the field you’re pursuing, then write it down that way.

4. Skills and keywords

Lastly, you’ll want to add relevant skills — both hard skills and soft skills. Here are just a few of the skills that may be effective in a resume objective:

  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Computer skills
  • Management skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Data entry
  • SEO
  • Team player

Some keywords you might want to emphasize include:

  • Hard working
  • Leader
  • Adept
  • Diligent
  • Knowledgeable

These types of strong words will vary by industry, so make sure you look at resume samples from your field to see what types of words people are using. Make sure you use ResumeHelp’s advice on hard skills and soft skills for the best results.

How to make the most of your resume objective

Your resume objective should be straightforward and feature your best, most relevant resume skills. There’s no need for long explanations as to why you’re applying. Remember, recruiters and hiring managers typically spend less than a minute reviewing a resume. You should also tailor your resume objective to the specific job you’re interested in getting. By including keywords from the job description, you’ll create an ATS-friendly resume that can pass through the company’s filters and reach the right hands. This means evaluating the skills and requirements listed in the job posting and seeing which ones apply to you.

Resume objective vs. resume summary

We mentioned the resume summary statement earlier in this article but let’s properly explain the difference between the two.

A resume objective and a resume summary serve more or less the same function. They’re both two to three sentences long and feature your top skill set and relevant experience. However, a resume objective also clearly states your professional goals.

A resume summary is ideal for candidates with three or more years of experience who are not changing careers. Whereas a resume objective is better for job seekers with little to no experience, changing professions or relocating.

If you’re uncertain, here’s a resume objective example next to a good summary for a resume:

Resume objective example:

Creative marketing student seeking copywriting internship opportunities at advertising agency. Strong writing skills, knowledge of social media trends and ability to work well with others. Great time management skills and able to work independently.

Resume summary example:

Creative copywriter with five years of experience in advertising environments. Skilled in digital and traditional marketing, content creation and brainstorming with other creatives. Able to work under pressure and deliver unique ideas within tight deadlines.

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FAQ: Resume Objectives

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Your resume objective will always be at the top of your resume. You want your objective to be the first thing a hiring manager sees, so they’re prepared for the rest of your resume. Think of it as your response to the job description; you’re explaining exactly why you fit the description.

A resume objective highlights how you can benefit a company and that your career goals align well with the company’s needs.

It’s a good idea to look at resume examples for your industry and see how many of them include a resume objective or resume summary. If you notice that many of the resume examples for your job or industry opt for a summary instead of a resume objective, you should consider doing the same.

A good resume objective accomplishes two objectives (so to speak): It informs hiring managers about your top skills and qualifications, and it also gives them an idea of the type of career and job you’re aiming for. A good objective should be written to satisfy the requirements of the job you want, so look over the job description and try to match your own experiences and strengths with what the job is looking for. Include some details about the type of work you’re seeking (i.e., “Programmer looking for opportunity that focuses on virtual and mixed-reality apps”).

The main thing to avoid in a resume objective is being over-wordy. Your resume should be quick, to the point and effective, and so should your objective. Think of it as an “elevator pitch.” If your resume objective is more than a few lines long, step back and see where you can trim it down.

It’s also common for job seekers to forget that their resume objective is supposed to showcase how they fit a job rather than why they’re interested in the job. You need to focus on skills and/or experience that are perfect for what the company is looking for. The intention of your resume objective is to make the company as interested in you as you’re interested in the company.

This really depends on your specific skills and experience and how they relate to the job you want. However, your resume objective should definitely not be any longer than a single paragraph. In a resume objective you are listing the two or three best qualifications you have for the company you’re hoping to work for and explaining your goals.

First off, remove extraneous pronouns and related phrases like “I am.” Instead of saying “I am a high school teacher looking for full-time employment,” just say “High school teacher looking for full-time employment.” It’s technically a fragment but it’s snappier and more acceptable writing for a resume, so it’s allowable on your resume objective.

Additionally, only focus on your two or three standout skills. If you’re applying for a software development job and you understand both Python and Java but you’re only really good at coding in Python, only list Python in your resume objective. The rest of the resume can be used to go over all your qualifications. Your objective should feature your absolute best qualifications.

A resume objective statement shouldn’t include information that isn’t relevant to the job posting. Feature only the skills and previous experience that will show the potential employer that you have the qualifications to fulfill the job responsibilities despite not having a lot of work experience.

Including details that aren’t relevant might also make your resume objective longer than it needs to be and turn off recruiters.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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