After your name, the career resume objective will be the first section that hiring managers see on your resume. A well-written resume objective will convince the hiring manager to keep reading your resume. A badly written one? Read this guide to avoid a premature trip to the trash can.
This page contains three guides for writing a Career Objective, depending on your level of expertise. Simply click a link to jump to the section that that sounds most like you.
Table of Contents:
- Introduction to Writing a Resume Objective
- High School Student Career Objective
- College Student Career Objective
- Professional Career Objective
- Professional Resume Objective Templates
Writing a Resume Objective is a smart way to capture the attention of the hiring manager, if written correctly. Unfortunately, most people misunderstand what the Resume Objective is supposed to say.
What the Resume Objective IS supposed to say:
A short blurb telling the hiring manager what skills, knowledge, and abilities you have that will help the company achieve its goals.
What the Resume Objective IS NOT supposed to say:
A short blurb telling the hiring manager what you want from the company, and in terms of how it will help your own career.
If you follow that one rule, your Career Objective will naturally be strong. However, you should read this guide to get concrete ideas about how to write yours.
View This Example:
If you do not have professional experience or a college degree, you may be hoping to land an entry-level job, apprenticeship, or internship.
In your Career Objective, you’ll need to emphasize general traits about your character, personality, and work ethic that would make you a valuable employee.
You can do that by splitting the Objective for a Resume into three sentences:
1st: Self introduction via mentioning your strongest (provable) traits
2nd: Telling the hiring manager which role you want to fill
3rd: Emphasizing that you are reliable, and have company goals in mind
Here’s an example of a Career Objective for a high school resume. (Each section is color coded according to the bullet points above.)
Hard-working student (3.5/4.0 GPA) with proven leadership and organizational skills, and minute attention to detail. Seeking to apply my abilities to fill the internship role in your company. I am a dedicated team player who can be relied upon to help your company achieve its goals.
This student claims to have leadership and organizational skills as his/her main traits, as well as a strong GPA.
Each of these will need to be PROVEN later in the resume – perhaps he/she is an elected student official, or helped organize school dances. That information would be contained within in the resume.
Resume Objective Rule of Thumb
Don’t just make up nice sounding words to describe yourself – make sure that the traits you claim to have are actually reflected in the bullet points on your resume. You’ll need to think about what personality traits and strengths you exhibit in the activities you participate at school.
|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|
Try to target the Career Objective at the role that you’re applying for. A hiring manager for an internship role in finance might be less interested in your public speaking ability, and more interested in your analytical ability. However, a restaurant manager might be more interested in your interpersonal skills than your analytical ability.
Applying for a Cashier Position
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.
Applying for a Customer Service Position
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.
Applying for an Administrative Assistant Position
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.
(Some or no professional experience)
View These Examples:
As a college student or recent graduate, you are likely looking for entry-level work or an internship. Your Career Objective will need to emphasize your personal character traits as viewed through the lens of your education. We suggest dividing your Resume Objective into these sentences:
- 1st: Mention your degree and how many years of work experience you have (if you have any)
- 2nd: Describe your strongest PROVABLE traits, and the role you’d like to apply them to in the company
- 3rd: Emphasize that you are hard working and reliable, and that you are focused on achieving company goals
Here’s an example, which has been color coded according to the bullet points above.
Recent college graduate with a BA in English Literature and six months of international internship experience. Seeking to leverage acquired academic knowledge and work experience to effectively fill your office clerk position. A dedicated worker aiming to help achieve company goals and take on more responsibility as quickly as possible.
This student does have some internship experience, which is extremely valuable and should be included in the first sentence of the Career Objective. For more examples, please view these three samples to see other Resume Objectives for college students:
If you have no work experience, you’ll need to describe traits that make you a strong candidate based on your achievements and activities as a college student. Click this link to get some ideas for how you can describe yourself based on your school activities.
Applying for a Construction Worker Position
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.
Applying for a Janitorial Position
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 and possesses a strong work ethic with fastidious attention to detail.
Applying for a Waiter Position
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.
(2-3+ years of work experience in an entry-level job)
View These Examples:
As a professional with years of experience under your belt, you are probably writing a resume in order to move to a better working environment, transfer jobs, earn more money, or attain a managerial role. Your Career Objective will need to reflect your wishes, and make a strong argument for why you’d be a strong candidate.
A successful professional’s Resume Objective can be broken down into these sentences:
- 1st: Mentions number of years of work experience in chosen industry, and the types of duties you filled
- 2nd. Mention the qualities that make you a strong candidate for a SPECIFIC job role — ensure that they are RELEVANT to the job you’re applying for
- 3rd. Note what kind of degree you hold, and any relevant licenses or certificates you’ve earned
Here’s an example of a professional Food Service Worker Career Objective, which has been color coded according to the above bullet points.
Customer Service Representative with 4+ years of experience of telephone and face-to-face sales, hotel bookings and account administration. Aiming to use my proven customer service, sales, and communication skills to effectively fill the managerial role in your company. Possess a BA in Communications.
What makes this a good Resume Objective?
This Career Objective successfully (and quickly) makes the argument that this candidate would succeed in a managerial role. The hiring manager would immediately be interested in a candidate with 4+ years of experience learning relevant skills of telephone/face-to-face sales, hotel bookings, and account administration. The hiring manager would be even more interested in the fact that this candidate has proven to be masterful in previous job roles, specifically in sales and communication skills.
When the candidate writes that he/she has “proven” skills, this is because the Professional Experience section of the resume will expand upon the experience and achievements that prove he/she has those skills. For instance, this candidate might consistently meet or exceed sales targets, which would provide sufficient proof that the candidate is skilled at his/her job, and could potentially fill a managerial role.
Applying for a Retail Manager Position
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.
Applying for a Sales Manager Position
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.
Applying for an Accountant Position
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.
Check out our gallery of HR-approved, battle-tested Resume Objective templates. They are free to download, and will help you land interviews faster: