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Career objective

The Resume Objective is one of the most overlooked aspects of a resume, but also has the potential to be one of the most important parts of your resume. Career objectives can also be referred to a Career Goal, Mission Statement, or Career Purpose.

A career objective is a succinct statement ranging from 1 – 2 sentences that are different from a summary of qualifications. Instead, the career objective should focus on the employer’s wants and how you as an applicant can fulfil them. It should be short, as excessive length will detract from the objective’s impact.

Objectives should be customised to individual applicants and can be worded differently depending on the previous work experience and career level of the applicant. Four of the most common objective formats include:

Types of Career Objective

Entry-level or Student

Entry level and Student Career Objectives will focus more on educational history, including relevant classes, degrees or honors that can be applied in a professional setting. A well-written entry-level career objective will contain the following points:

  • Highest degree earned and from what institution
  • Cumulative GPA if above 3.0
  • Course focuses or curriculum emphasis
  • Internship or relevant study/work experience

  • A general Entry-level Mission Statement would read like:

    “B.S in International Marketing from Brown University with a 3.8/4.0 GPA. Possesses comprehensive digital and print marketing expertise, with an emphasis on sales verticals. “

    Click below to view a professionally formatted banking resume example containing an entry-level career objective:

    Entry level banking resume Tips and Examples

    Re-entering the workforce

    People who are re-entering the workforce will focus more on their cumulative years of industry-specific experiences in their objectives. If applicant was recently retraining or attained further educational or certification, this is also suitable for a Re-entering the Workforce resume. An effective re-entering the workforce career objective will contain:

  • Summarization of total years previous experience
  • Technical or postgraduate training or certifications
  • Highlight notable achievement or employer
  • State desired objective/goal in new employment

  • A general Re-entering the Workforce Purpose Statement would read like:

    “Human Resources Manager with 12+ years of experience seeking to re=enter the workforce in a HR Director function. Posses HR experience with multiple Fortune 100 firms and a MBA from American University.”

    For an example of a senior level career objective check out the following examples and writing guide:

    Manager resume Tips and Examples

    Switching Careers

    Applicants that are in the process of switching careers, or considering switching careers, are some of the best examples of resumes that should utilize the Career Objective section. A good career-changer career objective will contain:

  • Mention of cumulative experience in given industry
  • Listing of highest attained title
  • Inclusion of industry focus or specialty
  • Brief and contained within two sentences

  • A general switching careers resume objective would read like:

    “To utilize my 12+ years of logistics experience as a top coordinator in the shipping industry into a career in office operations management, with a focus on national and international location coordination.”

    For a professional career-changer resume objective sample check out the following mid-career level resume example:

    Professional Accountant resume Samples and Tips

    Varied Work Experience

    Having held jobs in many different industries, or a few unrelated industries, composing a targeted career objective can be a challenge. Many applicants have such varied experiences however, and thus writing an effective objective is simple. Like other objectives, state the desired goal and find a skill or experience from a previous, relevant experience to support the goal. Compelling varied work experience career objectives will most often include:

  • Identification of a previous experience or employer of current relevance
  • Mention of education level if University or above
  • Inclusion of any specialized training or certificate pertinent to desired job
  • Limited to two sentences in overall length

    A general varied work experience career objective will read like:

    “Seeking mid-level secretarial assistant position where I can utilize my extensive technical and time management experience. Currently obtaining M.A in Statistics from Berkeley College.”

    For a professional written example of a varied work experience resume and customized career objective check out the following resume sample:

    IT and Programmer Resume Examples and Tips

    Alternative terms

    While "career objective" is the most commonly used term for this section, there are a variety of alternative terms that you may want to utilize. These include (in alphabetical order):

    • Focus
    • Expertise
    • Goal
    • Mission
    • Objective
    • Purpose
    • Qualifications
    • Specialization
    • Value Proposition

    In summary, a well-written career objective can be the difference between landing an interview and not. Located at the top of your resume the career objective deserves considerable thought regarding what information to contain in the one or two sentences. If you are uncertain of what to include or how to format your resume, please visit the resume builder to assist you.

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