Writing objective statements can be one of the most challenging
parts of creating an effective resume. Below you'll find some
strategies and options to help you make the most of yours.
What is an Objective Statement?
Immediately below the top section of a resume (containing your name,
address, etc.), there is usually a short section with one of these
headings: "objective," "professional objective," "resume capsule," or
"career goals." Most often the objective statement includes 1-3 line of
text, summarizing the position(s) you are applying for and/or your main
qualifications. While some writers choose to use a sentence format, many
objective statements are simply descriptive phrases with minimal
Why Write an Objective Statement?
Objective statements improve your resume by helping you
- emphasize your main qualifications and summarize them for readers
- inform your readers of the position(s) you are seeking and your
- establish your professional identity
Tailoring for Your Audience
To improve your chances for success, it's always a good idea to
tailor your objective statement (as well as your whole resume and cover
letter) to particular organizations and/or positions. This means, for
example, calling a position by the name the company uses to describe it.
You might even indicate the organization's name in your statement.
Strive to match your qualifications with those desired by the
organization. If you are unsure what your resume's readers will be
looking for, you'll need to do some research to give your objective
statement a competitive edge.
Questions to Ask
Before drafting or revising your objective statement, you will find
it helpful to answer as many of the following questions as possible.
the Company or Organization
|What are your main qualifications
(strengths, skills, areas of expertise)
||Which of your qualifications are most
desired by your resume's readers?
|What positions (or range of positions)
do you seek?
||What position titles (or range or
positions) are available?
|What are your professional goals?
||What are some goals of the
organizations that interest you?
|What type of organization or work
setting are you interested in?
||What types of organizations or work
settings are now hiring?
The most common mistake made in writing objective statements is being
too general and vague in describing either the position desired or your
qualifications. For example, some objective statements read like this:
An internship allowing me to utilize my knowledge and expertise in
Such an objective statement raises more questions than it answers:
What kind of internship? What knowledge? What kinds of expertise? Which
areas? Be as specific as possible in your objective statement to help
your readers see what you have to offer "at a glance."
know or want to emphasize...
might experiment with one or more of these formats...
|a specific position (or two) and your
main relevant qualifications
||A position as a [name or type of
position] allowing me to use my [qualifications]
To utilize my [qualifications] as a [position title]
|A position as a Support Specialist
allowing me to use my skills in the fields of computer science and
management information systems
|the field or type of organization you
want to work in
and your professional goal
or your main qualifications
|An opportunity to [professional
goal] in a[type of organization, work environment, or field]
To enter [type of organization, work environment, or field]
allowing me to use my [qualifications]
| An opportunity to obtain a loan officer
position, with eventual advancement to vice president for lending
services, in a growth-oriented bank
To join an aircraft research team allowing me to apply my
knowledge of avionics and aircraft electrical systems
| your professional or career goal
or an organizational goal
|To [professional goal]
An opportunity to [professional goal]
|To help children and families in
troubled situations by utilizing my child protection services
|a specific position desired
||Technical writer specializing in user
Some Variations to Try
- Integrate key words and phrases used in the job advertisement(s)
- Play with word choices to fit your strengths and your readers'
expectations. You might try
- substituting for "use" words like "develop," "apply," or
- replacing "allowing me" with "requiring" or "giving me the
- changing "enter" to "join," "pursue," "obtain," "become a
member," "contribute," etc.
- Blend two or more of the above generic models or create your