If you’re writing a resume, you’re well aware that you need to craft a general objective statement that gives the reader an overview of your work experience and career objectives. But what’s a “good” objective statement for a resume?
The first thing to keep in mind: objective statements must be tailored to your specific career. An objective statement for a customer service specialist, for example, will vary from that of a graphic designer or a software developer. Whatever your profession, though, you’ll want to convey that you’re detail-oriented, able to handle fast-paced work, and have the skills and experience necessary for the job.
Follow along for some quick tips and tricks as you craft this vital section.
What is a Resume Objective Statement (with Examples)?
If you’re wondering how to write a resume objective statement, let’s start with the simplest definition of this section: it’s a few sentences that break down your strengths, career goals, and why your skills and experience will benefit a prospective employer.
For example, if you just graduated from college with a computer science degree and you’re seeking your first job as a junior software developer, you might craft an objective statement like this:
Entry-level software developer seeking a full-time position that will allow me to use my skills to build great mobile apps while perfecting my management skills.
As you progress in your career, this statement will change. Let’s say you’re a project manager with more than a decade of experience at a variety of companies. Here’s how you might craft a specific statement for a job involving cloud and edge computing:
Project manager with more than a decade of experience building and growing projects at scale seeks new opportunities to guide big teams to build something truly great. I’m enthused at the idea of helping a company build out its cloud and edge computing infrastructure as part of an iconic digital transformation.
If it’s crafted well, an objective statement will help your resume stand out from the pile, especially if you’re competing against candidates with similar backgrounds and skills.
Do I Need to Write a Resume Objective Statement?
That’s a great question. Like any other section on your resume, an objective statement takes up a good deal of “real estate” you could devote to something else, such as an expanded experience or skills sections.
You should always submit a cover letter along with your resume, but if you can’t do that for some reason (for example, a hiring manager asking only for your resume), a resume objective statement can serve a similar purpose. You may also want to include an objective statement if you feel the rest of your resume can’t be sufficiently tailored to the job.
Tips and Tricks for Writing a Resume Objective Statement
Here are some simple tips and tricks for writing a resume objective statement:
Keep it concise: As you’re no doubt aware, hiring managers and recruiters will often give your application a few seconds’ review during the initial screening. Therefore, it’s imperative to keep your statement as short as possible: no more than two sentences. If you’re going beyond that, you need to edit ruthlessly.
Get a friend or trusted colleague to review: Friends and trusted colleagues can give valuable insight into whether you’re hitting the mark with your statement. They’ll notice mistakes you’ve missed and maybe suggest things to add.
Tie it into the job you want: Your entire resume is an exercise in customization, with every section angled to the specific job you’re seeking. The objective statement is no different: mention your prospective employer’s goals and strategy, and make sure your skills and experience link to it in some way.
Keep it in the third person: Always use the third person perspective when writing an objective statement.
When in doubt, start long and go short: For some people, keeping your prose concise is a difficult exercise. If you’re completely stumped when writing your statement, start by writing long—i.e., a couple of paragraphs. From there, eliminate all but the most essential and relevant skills and experience, then cut as many extraneous details as possible. With enough editing rounds, you’ll have a statement of perfect length.
Always remember to spell-check… and to have someone scan your statement (as well as the rest of your resume) for any errors before you submit!