Get Your Resume Read
Using an employment objective lets
the hiring manager know what to expect from the rest of your resume.
It's important to use strong language and be as specific as possible.
Why do you want this job? Stating
your employment objectives right up front can give the hiring personnel
a good idea of what to expect if they read the rest of your resume.
"An objective statement is like a
table of contents -- you're giving the employer a preview about what they
will learn about you if they continue to read your resume," says Allison
Hemming. She is the founder of The Hired Guns, an interim temp agency.
When to Use an Objective
Hemming believes that an employment objective is necessary in every
situation. "An objective statement should always be included on your
resume. I can think of no time when they should not be included."
Colleen Clarke is a career specialist, author and career advisor for
Monster.com. She knows what makes decision-makers happy. "Dozens
of resume readers and decision-makers have told me an objective makes their
job easier, and if the writer wants to make the reader happy, do it."
How to Write One
Creating an objective that makes
the reader want to continue reading the rest of your resume is the goal
"Job seekers without clear objectives
are advised to do some soul-searching, figure out what they truly want
to do and develop resumes with a more targeted employment goal," says
Kim Isaacs. She is the director of ResumePower.com.
"The objective should be as specific
as possible, clearly stating exactly what type of position the job
seeker is seeking," she says.
"The best objectives are straightforward and include the job seeker's
specific goal. The job seeker should relay how he or she would
add value to the employer's operation if hired."
Hemming suggests that you do a bit
of detective work before you start writing your objective.
"Most employers give clues about
what they are exactly looking for in the job descriptions that they write
up for a given opportunity," says Isaacs. "You need to read into
what they are looking for, and in your objective statement,
outline the skills you have that best match the company's needs."
Hemming says your objective should
include important keywords. "Your chances of getting an interview
will increase if your resume includes keywords that are important to the
Nicole Miller owns a career counseling
firm and is a representative for the Professional Resume Writing and Research
Association. She says your objective should set the stage for your
other information to follow.
"By directly linking each statement
of your ability and achievements to the targeted position, you set the
stage to directly relate your capabilities to any related experience you
It's important to use strong language
and be clear when describing the position you are pursuing, says Miller.
"The job seeker who provides a clear,
succinct and non-flowery objective has just done the hiring manager a favor,
and will likely receive extra consideration," says Isaacs.
Keeping it short and smart is the way to go.
"Short, smart, employer- and position-focused
objective statements are best," says Hemming. "Remember: you're trying
to get the hiring manager to read your work history so that they can determine
if you are a fit or not."
Here are some examples of good objectives, courtesy of Isaacs:
Example 1: Targeting a specific job opening
Professional Goal: Elementary school teacher at ABC Academy
Example 2: Objective stating career goal and industry target
Career Goal: Software engineer seeking to specialize within the biotechnology or science arena
Example 3: Career goal used as part of a qualifications summary
Employment Goal: Upcoming
communications graduate of ABC College seeking to leverage proven
classroom skills in creative campaign concepts, placement/distribution
strategies, and target marketing in a communications internship
Miller's examples of well-written objectives use strong language:
Objective: Lead computer programmer with supervisory experience
seeking challenging position within start-up enterprise
Employment Target: Assistant position in large retail outlet,
which allows utilization of strong leadership and educational experience
"The worst objectives are full of cliches, focus on the job seeker's
needs and don't specify a specific career goal," says Isaacs.
Here are a couple examples that miss the mark.
Objective: Seeking a challenging position with opportunity for growth and advancement.
Objective: A position with a forward-thinking
company that values employee teamwork and accountability.
So as you are developing that targeted resume and cover letter, don't forget
to include a clear, concise and well-written employment objective.