What is a career objective on a resume?
A career objective, most commonly known as a resume objective, is a 2 to 4-sentence self-introduction and statement of purpose you put at the top of your resume.
Each sentence of a resume objective touches upon specific information about your professional background and skillset. Together, these sentences concisely express why you’re the best candidate for a particular job opening.
Knowing how to write a good resume objective that lands you the job is a skill, and like any skill takes time to master. We’re here to teach you that skill.
Does my resume need a career objective?
No, your resume doesn’t need a career objective. However, your resume does need to start with an introduction. And for many people, a job objective is the perfect opening for their resume.
The three major groups of job seekers best suited to using a resume objective are:
- People with work experience who really want a job at a specific company
- Recent graduates (with some or no experience)
- Inexperienced job seekers // high school students
If you fall into any of these groups, writing a targeted objective on your resume helps you make a stronger case to an employer as to why you’re a good fit for the job, despite any shortcomings in experience or skill.
How to write a career objective (with examples)
To write a good resume objective, first think about how your personal background (experience, skills, education, and interests) makes you the best fit for the role. Why should that specific company hire you for that job opening? What makes you better than other applicants?
The objective for your resume shouldn’t simply be about why you want the job either. Instead, your objective should demonstrate how you’d best use your skills, knowledge, and experience to help the company achieve its goals.
- Showcase your skills
- Highlight your relevant experience
- State your applicable education or training
- State you want the job
- Talk about your personal career goals
- Be a “To” statement
Here’s how to write a general resume objective if you 1.) have work experience, 2.) are a recent graduate (with little or no experience), or 3.) are an inexperienced job seeker or high-school student:
1. If you have relevant work experience
If you have two or more years of work experience related to the job you want, write your resume objective using this structure:
- First sentence: # years of relevant work experience, plus 2-4 examples of your main job duties during those years
- Second sentence: Your degree and qualifications (related licenses or certificates)
- Third sentence: How your skills, qualities, and qualifications make you a strong candidate for the job
Resume objective example (with experience)
Here’s an example of a professional customer service resume objective:
Customer Service Representative with 6+ years of experience of telephone and face-to-face sales, hotel bookings and account administration. Possess a BA in Communications and a SalesForce certification. Aiming to use my proven customer service, sales, and communication skills to effectively fill the managerial role in your company.
This career objective successfully (and quickly) makes the argument that the candidate would succeed in a managerial role by showcasing their relevant experience and skills right at the top of their resume.
Additionally, the candidate mentions their “proven” skills because they plan to elaborate further in their work experience section. It’s okay to make such claims about yourself if you can back them up elsewhere on your application (like in your cover letter).
2. If you’re a recent college graduate (little or no relevant experience)
When writing a recent graduate resume or college student resume, divide your resume objective statement into the following sentences to best emphasize the professional abilities you honed as a student:
- First sentence: Your degree plus years of relevant experience (if any)
- Second sentence: How you’re hard-working, reliable, and focused on achieving the company’s goals
- Third sentence: Your best provable traits, and the role in which you want to apply those traits
Sample resume objective (only internship experience)
Here’s an example resume objective written by a recent college grad:
Recent college graduate with a BA in English Literature and six months of international internship experience. Dedicated worker aiming to help achieve [Company Name]’s objectives and take on more responsibility as quickly as possible. Seeking to leverage acquired academic knowledge and work experience to effectively fill your open office clerk position.
The student who wrote this particular resume objective has internship experience. Because any type of relevant experience is valuable to employers, it should always be highlighted in the first sentence of an objective statement.
If you have no work experience or are writing a resume for an internship, you’ll need to incorporate academic accomplishments into your objective to make it effective. Here are a few resources that can help you determine your top scholastic achievements and whether they can be applied to your own resume objective:
- Extracurricular activities on a resume
- Hobbies and interests on a resume
- GPA / cum laude / Dean’s list
- Relevant coursework
- Volunteer work
- Sorority and fraternity experience
3. If you’re in high school or have no relevant experience
If you don’t have professional experience or a college degree, you’ll need to emphasize general traits about your character, personality, and work ethic in your resume objective — any detail highlighting why you’d be a good employee if hired.
Write an effective objective for your resume by splitting it into these three sentences:
- First sentence: Self introduction where you mention your strongest (provable) traits
- Second sentence: How dependable you are, and that you have the company’s goals in mind
- Third sentence: Which role you want to fill, and the skills you can apply to that role
Resume objective sample (no experience)
Here’s an example of a career objective for a high-school student resume.
Hard-working student (3.5/4.0 GPA) with proven leadership and organizational skills, and minute attention to detail. Dedicated team player who can be relied upon to help [Company Name] achieve its goals. Seeking to apply my abilities to fill the internship role listed on your website.
Just remember that these claims must be proven later. Perhaps this student was an elected class official, or helped organize school dances. Such information should be included elsewhere in a resume if mentioned in the career objective.
Here’s a short list of school activities and their associated character traits to come up with some ideas for your own resume objective:
|School Activity||Associated Character Traits|
|Student Government:||Leadership, Management, Organization|
|Sports:||Team Player, Disciplined, Strategic|
|Theater Arts:||Public Speaking, Presentation Skills, Interpersonal Skills|
|Various Clubs:||Engaged, Active, Friendly, Enthusiastic|
|Academics:||Analytical, Hard Working, Fast Learner|
30 Resume objective examples
Looking for some job-winning resume objective examples that you can take ideas from when writing your own? Whether you need samples from experienced candidates, examples written by recent graduates, or high-school / inexperienced objective samples, we provide 10 of each below.
10 General resume objective examples (with experience)
The following 10 resume objective statements are all examples of how to write a career objective if you have 2+ years of experience in your profession:
Certified Public Accountant with 5+ years of experience of ledger processes, account reconciliations and streamlining accounts. Possess an MBA with a focus in accounting. Seeking to leverage accounting expertise and experience into a managerial role as a corporate banker.
Administrative Assistant with 6+ years of experience preparing flawless presentations, assembling facility reports, and maintaining the utmost confidentiality. Possesses a B.A. in History and expertise in Microsoft Excel. Looking to leverage my knowledge and experience into a role as Project Manager.
Related resume samples:
A registered member of ICE and CIOB and a Civil Engineer with 4+ years of experience. Capable of working independently with minimum supervision, and committed to providing high-quality service to every project, with a focus on health, safety, and environmental issues. Professional, capable, and motivated individual who consistently performs in challenging environments. Also possess a BS in Architecture.
Elementary School Teacher with 6+ years of experience managing classrooms of 20-25 students. Adept at using positive reinforcement teaching techniques to encourage student behavior and growth. Licensed teacher in state of Texas, with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies and Special Education certificate. Looking to leverage my creativity and teaching experience to engage at-risk students.
Attentive and detail-oriented medical assistant with over 5 years of experience in the field. AAMA Certified Medical Assistant and Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) since 2011, experienced in both administrative and clinical duties and a true passion for helping people in the health profession. Seeking to apply my range of clinical skills and experience as the new Senior Medical Assistant at [Hospital Name].
Nurse RN with 8+ years of experience providing quality care to a wide variety of patients. Possesses a Master’s qualification in nursing and currently focused on earning a Doctorate Degree in this field. Aiming to leverage my experience and knowledge to effectively fill the nursing position at your hospital.
Head Cashier with over 8 years of experience in providing excellent customer service, handling daily accounts and maintaining inventory. Aiming to use my knowledge and expertise to effectively fill the managerial role in your store. Possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Arts.
Sales manager with 7+ years of experience driving profitability through strategic growth, leading teams, and quality control. Fiercely competitive in my approach to acquire business, and able to handle complex situations from a strategic and tactical perspective. Presently seeking a suitable leadership position with a market-leading, high-growth company that offers opportunities for advancement into sales management.
Professional Security Officer with 7+ years of experience in corporate security. Eager to apply my strong observation and communication skills to increase the safeguarding of Maclin Medical Center.
Enthusiastic Food Service Worker with 2+ years of experience. Possess a Certification in Food Handling and Safety. Seeking to leverage proven skills and acquired knowledge into an entry-level position to help achieve your company’s goals.
Related resume samples:
10 Sample resume objective statements (recent graduates, little experience)
New to the workforce or applying for a job where you lack experience? These 10 sample objectives for a resume provide ideas on how to write your own good opening statement and start things off strong with a hiring manager.
Entry-level Administrative Assistant with under a year of experience preparing excellent presentations, assembling facility reports, and maintaining confidentiality. Possesses a B.A. in Communications and am a Microsoft Certified Excel Associate. Looking to put my expert organizational skills and administration knowledge to work as an Administrative Assistant at Gerbor Industries.
Recently graduated RN with excellent medical knowledge and patient care expertise. Currently finishing my preceptorship at Mercy General Hospital in New Haven. Proven to able to handle any medical emergency or situation and perform well under pressure. Seeking to leverage my skills to obtain an entry-level nursing position at Cathay Hospital.
Food Service worker with excellent customer service skills and a passion for serving and preparing food. Currently have 8 months of work experience as a busser at Fricasse Bistro. Recognized for my ability to learn quickly and memorize large numbers of wines, entrees, restaurant equipment, and POS terminals. Looking to leverage my knowledge of the industry for a server position at Jim’s Restaurant.
Housekeeper with 1 year of experience seeking to put my proven professional skills to work in a full-time housekeeping role. Won an award at my current job for most productive member of the cleaning staff. Possess excellent time management and efficient cleaning skills. Seeking to fill the Housekeeper position at the Hyatt in Pasadena.
Recent Journalism graduate (3.6 GPA) with strong writing and copy editing experience. Recently completed a 6-month internship at the Washington Post, where I helped cover financial news. Superb research, organizational, and communication skills. Seeking a position as a Junior Finance Reporter at BuzzFeed.
Recent Business graduate (3.7 GPA) with 5 months of internship experience at Kroger. Excellent at conducting in-depth market research, creating innovative marketing campaigns, and providing brand management insight. Recognized for my ability to produce high-quality content that increases clicks and conversions. Looking to leverage my Business degree and proven track record of helping marketing teams achieve success to obtain the entry-level Marketing Assistant position at Westfield Inc.
Recent Political Science graduate (3.8 GPA) with 6 months experience conducting polling research while interning at Win Red Strategies. Excellent understanding of neutral survey methods and quantitative analysis. Seeking to leverage my data analysis knowledge to obtain a research assistant position at Top Seat Consulting.
Enthusiastic retail sales associate with 1 year of professional experience in fashion sales. Despite lack of experience, have consistently exceeded monthly sales goals at my current job by 12% on average. Excellent communication skills and interpersonal abilities. Seeking to fill the Entry-Level Sales Associate position at Zara.
General warehouse worker with 1 year of experience in operations and shipping at Amazon. Won an award at my current job recognizing my above-average efficiency. Fast learner and passionate about delivering excellent service. Seeking to put my skillset to work as a General Warehouse Associate at Mansfield Industries.
Related resume samples:
10 Career objective examples (no experience // high school student)
Are you a young job seeker or simply don’t have work experience? These 10 objectives from real resume examples provide some general ideas on how to write your own career objective and improve your job prospects.
Committed high school student (3.4/4.0 GPA) with outstanding planning and creative thinking ability. Aiming to utilize my experience as a member of the basketball team and honors society to effectively satisfy the responsibilities of administrative assistant at your company. I am a driven worker who can meet deadlines and is eager to help your company succeed.
Skilled laborer seeking to leverage acquired academic knowledge and work experience into an entry-level position at your construction company. Enthusiastic worker who is always willing to learn new skills and take on more responsibility. Possess an Associate’s Degree in Building Construction Technology.
Earnest high school student with strong interpersonal and management skills. Seeking to leverage my experience in student government and theatre to fulfill the duties of a customer service representative at you company. My abilities to cooperate with other and manage conflicts will be an asset to your company.
Responsible and ambitious student (3.8/4.0 GPA) with excellent time management. Possess proven communication skills and strong work ethic that will aid your company in meeting its milestones. Seeking to apply my customer service abilities and project/event planning skills to the Business Development summer internship at [Company Name].
Energetic and passionate college student working towards a BS in Marketing at the University of Georgia. Aiming to use my knowledge of advertising, PR, product development, and consumer research strategies to satisfy the marketing internship at [Company Name]
Energetic and passionate entry-level professional seeking a full-time janitorial position. Seek to use my proven skills and knowledge to provide a safe and healthy environment for your customers. Dedicated employee, possessing a strong work ethic with fastidious attention to detail.
Aspiring Line Cook with 5 years of experience prepping Cajun, Creole, and Middle Eastern Cuisines at home. Possess expertise in creating sauces and cooking seafood and poultry, as well as following recipes and instructions with meticulous detail. Seeking to take my talents for cooking outside of my own kitchen and into the kitchen at [Restaurant Name].
Diligent high school student (3.7/4.0 GPA) with excellent communication and research skills. Aiming to use my abilities to successfully fulfill the cashier position at your store. My enthusiasm to learn new skills quickly will help your company meet its milestones.
Tutor with experience teaching French, English, and History. Possess a BA in French, consolidated by study abroad in Paris, and an MPhil in European History. Skilled at conveying complex knowledge in a simple and concise way. Looking to tutor high school students and freshmen college students at your tutoring center and help them achieve exceptional exam results.
Motivated driver with 6+ years of experience commuting from Northern Nevada to Northern California every month for both personal and professional reasons. Possess a Class A Certified Driver’s License and ME Certificate. Looking to apply my strong safety record (zero accidents and injuries in 10 years of driving) as a new Truck Driver for [Company Name].