Writing Your Job Objective
A job objective is a statement that clearly defines the type of job you are seeking in a particular industry.
It is often the second line that is read by an employer, with your name being the first.
Your Job Objective should convey what you are looking for in as few words as possible.
The more words you have describing your objective, the less employers will understand what you are looking for.
Not only does your Job Objective statement tell a potential employer what you are looking for, it also helps you focus your thoughts on creating a targeted resume.
A job objective statement is optional, but it clarifies to the reader the type of job you are seeking. There is some debate amongst professionals about whether you should have an objective statement or not. I strongly believe you should have one. But if you decide against using one, then make sure your resume clearly defines the type of job you are seeking.
Know Your Target Job
If you don’t know what kind of job you are looking for, how do you expect to find it?
Writing you objective is one of the most important steps you need to do before writing your resume. Even if you prefer to leave it off your resume, it’s still an essential exercise to complete. Your Job Objective statement is going to tell a potential employer exactly what kind of position you are looking for.
Many job seekers are often anxious to begin searching for a new job and make the mistake of creating a catch-all resume that makes them look like a jack of all trades. They end up being too vague on their resume about the type of position they want because they want to be considered for everything.
Some are even hoping that any employer who reads their resume will just figure out what they are best at doing, and offer them a suitable job. That’s a myth and could not be further from the truth. Employers are looking for people who know what they want and are good at doing it.
My advice: Make the employers job simple and give them a resume that is matched exactly to the type of person they are looking for.
Now if you are still saying, “I’m very good at several things …” and I need to write a resume that makes me look good for three different positions or types of jobs. No problem, simply create three resumes, with each one highlighting each of your target jobs. But we’ll talk more about that later.
How to Write Your Job Objective
Use any of the following phrases on your resume to preface your job objective statement:
- Job Objective
- Career Goal
- Professional Objective
- Career Objective
The best place to put your job objective is under your resume heading. This way, anyone who reads your resume will immediately see your name, and then your objective, thus instantly communicating to the reader the type of job you are looking for in the near future.
Write your job objective as concisely as possible for maximum effectiveness, 5 words is best, but try to limit yourself at 10 words. You’ll have a more powerful and effective objective by keeping it short.
Once you have a good idea of what your ideal job title might be then write it down. It would be to your advantage to write down several job titles to work with and choose from and to aid in fine tuning your ideal job title.
To write your Job Objective, ask yourself the following qualifying questions:
1. What is the title of the job I would like to have? example, Director
2. What type of work do I want to do? example, Sales or Marketing
3. What industry would I like to work in? example, Manufacturing
Now, create a simple statement that sums up your answers to the Job Objective qualifying questions.
For example, you could simply say:
• Director of Marketing in the Manufacturing industry
• Marketing Director in Manufacturing
• Manufacturing Marketing Director
Job Objective Examples
Common Objective: To work in an ever challenging environment that will utilize my skills as a Controller in the food industry.
This statement sounds like everyone else. Of course you want to be challenged and utilize your skills. But you need to be specific with what you want so you can stand out from everyone else.
Better Objective: Controller in wholesale foods.
Common objective: A technical sales position with an aggressive B2B company where I can utilize my sales skills to the mutual benefit of the company and myself.
Again, this is an old-school style of writing a long drawn out objective that just needs a little trimming.
Better Objective: A Technical Sales position with start-up B2B company.
Common objective: Results oriented professional seeks Project Management position in hi-tech manufacturing industry.
“Results oriented” is used by every other job hunter on the planet and does not carry the same weight it once did.
Better Objective: Project Manager in hi-technology manufacturing.
Remember, the key here is to say as much as possible about the job type you are looking for in as few words as possible. Though it is best not to use exact job titles as your objective because some job titles could have different meanings in different industries, but there are also times where the exact job title is perfect for your job objective. It just depends on your particular circumstances.
See the resume examples in the back of this guide to see how other job seekers have written their Job Objective.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this section, there is also a good deal of controversy going around about whether to use a Job Objective or not. Some say you should, others say it’s outdated – me personally, I believe in most cases you should because it quickly defines the job or position you are seeking to a potential employer.
There are times when you may wish to skip listing a job objective on your resume, but the most common reason would be when you have a powerful or professional title, like CPA (Certified Public Accountant), LPA (Licensed Practicing Attorney), RN (Registered Nurse), Director of Business Development, MD (Medical Doctor).
- Keep your objective short as possible.
- If you feel one objective is not enough, then don’t hesitate to create another resume built around a second objective.
- Your objective should clearly describe the job you want and the type in industry.
- Creating an effective job objective is crucial to writing the rest of your resume.
A clear job objective will allow you to write a well-defined resume that can clearly stand on its own and speak for itself. Remember, you won’t be there to interpret your resume to an employer when she takes her first read – that’s why you need a tightly focused resume that speaks to the reader and clearly and concisely tells them about your skills, work history and accomplishments.
Don’t leave it up to an employer to figure out what you are good at doing – that’s your job.
I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson, in the next one I’ll show you how to write your Skills Summary so recruiters and employers will become attracted to your resume want to keep reading it and quickly call you in for an interview.
Get the next how to resume guide lesson here: