Writing Your Resume’s Objective Statement

by Donny Grover

Writing your Resume’s Objective Statement


  • The Purpose of an Objective Statement
  • How to Create a Powerful Objective Statement

The Purpose

The purpose of an objective statement is to let the employer know what position or type of job you are applying for, and your qualifications for that position. It sets the direction of your resume; therefore, the rest of the resume will need to include information which supports the objective.

The characteristics of an objective statement :

>>Focused >> Specific >> Personal >> Commited >> Action-oriented

What To Include

You will decide what to include in the objective. Consider the following options:

>>Describe the type of job or position you seek.
Objective: To obtain a position as an assistant buyer.

>> Identify the career field or industry in which you want to work.
Objective: Seeking entry-level position in the advertising industry.

>>Identify the department or functional area within an organization.
Objective: To obtain a position in the research and development dept of a company.

>>Consider adding what you have to offer the employer, such as skills and qualifications.
Objective: A position as an assistant buyer, where expertise with vendors, inventorycontrol, and retail market knowledge are assets.

Objective Statement Terms, Definitions and Examples

Skills/Qualifications: behavior you are capable of performing to carry out tasks. Job skills are skills that allow you to perform tasks pertaining to a job. Many of the skills we possess are not limited to a particular job, but can also transfer to diverse occupations. These are referred to as transferable skills.

General skill areas: clerical, technical, management , administrative, information management, customer service, communication, research, financial management, creative/innovative, problem solving/critical thinking, teamwork, human services, interpersonal, planning, organizing, leadership, and self-management skills (professional/career).

Transferable skills:

IDEAS- developing, implementing, analyzing, coordinating, processing, promoting

PEOPLE – motivating, instructing, counseling, facilitating, training, directing, interviewing, presenting, negotiating, demonstrating, marketing, influencing, persuading, influencing, managing, supervising, directing , overseeing, leading, collaborating, corroborating, motivating, selling, delegating.

INFORMATION/DATA – classifying, editing, evaluating, summarizing, reviewing, defining, estimating, comparing, analyzing, calculating, budgeting, interpreting, synthesizing, verifying, translating, cataloguing, auditing

THINGS-stacking, collecting, repairing, operating, building, engineering, readjusting, maintaining, trouble shooting, producing, restoring, processing, testing, inspecting, delivering, transporting, tending, publishing, operating, drafting.

Job/Position: a position of employment with assigned tasks.

Examples: office assistant, management trainee, computer programmer, social worker, production assistant, research assistant, underwriter, case manager, advertising assistant, math instructor, program resource specialist, marketing representative, billing manager, program coordinator, entry-level manager

Departments/Functional Areas: departments within an organization that handle specific tasks.

Examples: shipping and receiving, administrative, sales, production, marketing, purchasing, accounting, human resources, financing, supplies, research and development, information technology.

Career Field/Industry: general work areas under which many different job titles sharing similar work activities are found.

Examples: agriculture, forestry, construction, tourism, utilities, trade, mining, real estate, telecommunications, food manufacturing, electronics, publishing, broadcasting, health services, government, waste management, social services, administrative, finance, insurance, banking, investment, educational services, leisure and hospitality, transportation, business services, advertising, public relations.

Deciding What to Include (Examples to help you decide what to include in the objective.)

Situation: You don’t want to limit yourself to a specific occupation, because you want to keep your options open for several or different occupations, within a field or industry.
Option: Include the career field or industry you are interested in, but give the employer some direction, by specifying what type of work you would like to do in that field/industry.

  • Objective: To promote and market services for a health services organization.
  • Objective: To work within the broadcasting industry as a writing assistant.

Situation: You know the type of agency or organization you want to work for, but not the type of position you want to apply for.
Option: In the above case you want to describe what skills and qualifications you are able to provide the agency/organization. You may include general skill areas or specific skills.

  • Objective: To work for an investment firm applying my practical and formal knowledge of statistical analysis, economic principles, and skills gained as an administrative assistant for a fast-paced investment firm.
  • Objective: To work for a telecommunications service provider offering my skills and knowledge in microprocessors, applications, organization, and digital systems engineering.

Situation: You know the specific job/position or occupation title you are seeking, but you may be applying to different organizations or a particular organization.
Option: In the above case include the position title.

  • Objective: To obtain a position as a television program intern with a television broadcasting company.
  • Objective: Seeking an event planner position where I can use my highly developed organizational, project management , and public relations skills.

Situation: You want to work within a certain department or area of function within an organization, but may not necessarily know thespecific name of the organization or the job/position in the organization.
Option: In the above case you can include the name of the department or area of function you want to work in.

  • Objective: To obtain an internship position in employee development within a human resource department.
  • Objective: To secure a position performing an administrative function in a business environment.

Situation: You want to work with a specific population.
Option: Identify the population you would like to work with.

  • Objective: To manage financial portfolios for small business owners.
  • Objective: To provide employment counseling services to displaced homemakers.

Situation: You want to work in a specific geographical area or environment.
Option: Include the specific geographical location in your objective statement.

  • Objective: To obtain an entry-level position in advertising with a Madison Avenue firm in New York City.
  • Objective: To work as an environmental engineer in Alaska.
  • Objective: To work outdoors as a geological specimen collector.

Situation: You want to specify your preferences for travel or the size of the organization you are seeking.

  • Objective: Seeking a pharmaceutical sales position with opportunity for travel within the state.
  • Objective: To secure a human resource assistant position with a small business organization.

Writing an Objective

Using all the information you have so far, you are close to writing an objective statement – but first consider this last example and the final helpful tips that follow.

To obtain a position as a case manager within the mental health field, requiring experience in counseling, mental health assessment, and detailed case documentation.

  • Notice that a position is identified (case manager).
  • Notice that a field or industry (mental health) is also identified.
  • Notice that qualifications/skills (counseling, mental health assessment, and detailed case documentation) are mentioned for the benefit of the employer and not from the perspective of what the job seeker needs.

Tip: You could include all three preferences regarding position, field, and skills or one or two, but don’t give more than three or your objective will be too long. Remember- an objective must be succinct.

Tip: As stated on page 2, you will decide what to include in your objective.

Tip: Pages 4 through 6 describe several specific scenarios you may face when writing an objective statement, you can refer to these, but realize not every possible situation is covered.

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