How To Write A Killer Resume Objective (Examples Included)

By Mike Simpson

Resumes.

We all know what they are.
We all know how important having a good one is…and how much a bad one can hurt your ability to get your dream job.

We also know we aren’t the only ones out there turning in well crafted, carefully targeted resumes to hiring managers…

(If you aren’t turning in a well-crafted resume, you may want to read our blog post “How To Make a Resume 101” first.)

Unfortunately for you, for every available job out there in the real world, there are hundreds, if not thousands of very qualified people applying…and odds are, there are more than a few really knock-dead resumes in that pile.

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Of course, there are also a mountain of bad ones that won’t even make the first cut. But of those that do…how do you make sure yours stands out?

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You could always go for the Elle Woods approach. Remember in the movie Legally Blonde when our spunky and upbeat heroine hands her resume off to her professor in the hopes of securing that killer summer internship?pink_resume

Professor Callahan: It’s pink…

Elle: Oh! And it’s scented! I think it gives it a little something extra…don’t you think?

We have to admit, that is one way to make an impression with a hiring manager…however, outside Hollywood fantasies where the hero always gets their way (or in this case, the internship), odds are your pink scented resume is going to end up either in the trash or on the bulletin board “Wall of Shame” as an example of what NOT to send in to a hiring manager.

So put away your sparkle pens, cap your smelly perfume, and sit back because we’re going to help you stand out from the crowd…for all the right reasons.

And I promise you, no pink paper.

Instead we’re going to focus on your objective.

What is a Resume Objective?

My objective? Well, that’s easy. My objective is to get the job.

Absolutely…we couldn’t agree more…but an objective on your resume is so much more than just writing “Hey, hire me. I’m super awesome.”

So what is an objective for a resume?

A resume objective is a short, targeted statement that clearly outlines your career direction while simultaneously positioning you as someone who fits what the employer is looking for exactly. Your objective is carefully researched and tailored to fit the job you’re applying for.

In other words…it’s not a generic cry to hire you, it’s a very specific, very targeted way to point to yourself and say “Hey, why waste your time with all these other resumes when what you’re looking for is right here in front of you?” It’s a quick summary of where you’ve been so far in your career and also where you want to go with the company you are applying to.

Sounds pretty ingenious, right? So why don’t more people have them on their resumes?

Resume objectives can be a bit controversial. Some people think they can make you look amateurish…which if you don’t do it correctly, is absolutely true…but that can be said for any section of your resume.

Other schools of thought think that the objectives should be taken out entirely and replaced with the more popular “resume summary statement.”

Before we go any further, I want to stop you right now.

A “Resume Objective” and “Resume Summary Statement” are NOT interchangeable.

They are, in fact, two very different things and should not be confused. And don’t worry, we promise, we will have much more info on resume summary statements, what they are and how to use them…but that’s another blog post.

For now, we’re still focusing on resume objectives.

Oh no, now you’ve got me scared! What if I use a resume objective and the hiring manager looks at it and laughs at me? Are they going to throw out my resume…or worse, put it on the wall of shame?

Whoa, there, nervous Nelly! Slow your roll down the slippery slopes of Mt. Panic. Nobody is going to laugh at your resume objective as long as you make sure to follow our wise, time tested words of advice.

First off, we need to figure out what sort of job seeker you are.

When Should You Use a Resume Objective?

Are you relatively new to the job search market or lack work experience?

Are you changing industries?

Are you targeting a specific job or position?

If you answered YES to any of these above questions, then the resume objective is perfect for you!

If you answered NO to all of the above questions, you might not need to have an objective on your resume and can consider trying out the alternative “Resume Summary Statement.”

Remember, more on that later…but keep reading anyway…not only is this article well written, snappy, and occasionally funny, you might just learn something that can help you with your resume regardless of your experience level.  Not only that, but you’re getting our Hiring Manager Certified “Resume Objective Cheat Sheet” for free!  Click here to get the “Resume Objective Cheat Sheet” now .

For those of you in the middle of a career change or who might just be starting out, a resume objective statement allows you to define your goal to a potential employer…something that your work history (or lack thereof) might not otherwise be able to do for you.

Makes sense, right?

Imagine how confused a hiring manager would be if they were looking for candidates to fill an office coordinator position and you sent in a resume with 10 years of experience in marketing.

Without an objective statement, the hiring manager might just assume your resume has been accidentally sent to them and simply discard it.

An objective statement on a resume being submitted for a career changing position can only help you.

You can not only use to let the hiring manager know that yes, your resume IS in the right spot, but also to help clearly explain that you’re making the switch and show that your skill set, although not traditionally associated with the job you’re now applying for, does in actuality translate and aligns with this new career path.

If you’re targeting a specific job or position, a resume objective statement can help reinforce that idea as well as ensure that the hiring manager knows EXACTLY what you’re after…not just the generic “I wanna work for your company because I think it’ll be cool so I’ll take any job you happen to have open.

Overall, and most importantly, the biggest reason to put an objective on your resume is…it’s better than having nothing.

Remember, your goal is to catch the hiring manager’s eye and stand out from the rest of the paper in that pile.

“Okay, you’ve convinced me. I’m going to put my statement on my resume. What should I write?”

Let’s start out with what NOT to write.

Common Mistakes

There are several common mistakes job seekers can make when writing their statement with the number one being using the same objective for every job application.

1) Using the Same Objective For Every Job Application

EXAMPLE: To obtain a job within my chosen field that will challenge me and allow me to use my education, skills and past experiences in a way that is mutually beneficial to both myself and my employer and allow for future growth and advancement.

Your goal is to be the ideal candidate and that means making sure you’re exactly what the hiring manager is looking for…and unless you’re applying to a cookie cutter factory in a cookie cutter job town where every job every employer is listing is exactly the same then I guarantee you 100% that your statement will NOT be a “one size fits all” statement.

Next!

2) Making It All About You

This is a trap that many job seekers fall into, as they can’t resist to