Should you save your resume or CV as a .pdf or MS Word .doc file type? Does it matter what document format you choose? Here's the answer.
A resume objective is an optional part of a resume that states your career goals and outlines your best skills. To write a resume objective, mention the job title you’re applying for, add 2–3 key skills, and say what you hope to achieve in the job. Keep it 2 to 3 sentences long.
Why do you need it?
A well-written career objective will prove to the recruiter that you’re just the candidate they’ve been waiting for. Even when you’re just starting out.
And you came to the right place to learn how to write one.
This guide will show you:
- The perfect objective statement for a resume employers want to see.
- When to use a resume objective to stand out from other candidates.
- How to write an objective for a resume that will land you the interview even if you have no experience.
- 50+ examples of perfect career objectives for all professions you can copy, adjust, and use on your resume.
Here’s a sample resume with a career objective. We created it in our builder.
Notice how the career objective statement stands out!
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Sample resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.
Before we dig deeper, have a look at these general career objective examples you can use in your resume.
General Resume Objective Examples:
- Seeking a position as an administrative assistant at Acme Inc., to leverage organizational and research skills to support internal and external communication.
- Eager to expand my skill set through external trainings to help boost all major front desk KPIs.
- Hoping to leverage organizational skills to help ABC Corp introduce time-saving schemes for all executives.
- Highly-engaged sales representative with a BS in Biology, seeking to enhance sales figures for Azult Medical.
- Proven history of successful work with cross-functional teams. Seeking to deliver project management excellence to Apple New York.
In the next two sections, we’ll explain when exactly you should use a resume objective and how to write yours step by step. We’ll also explain differences between a resume objective, resume summary, and a resume profile.
What Is an Objective on a Resume & When to Use It
Let’s start with the basics:
What is a career objective on a resume?
A career objective on a resume is a top paragraph outlining relevant skills you’ve mastered so far and explaining what career you’re seeking at a given company.
Resume objectives should be used by candidates who don’t have much work experience in the industry they’re applying to: typically, entry-level job seekers or career changers.
Although it’s called an “objective,” you shouldn’t focus your resume heading statement only on what your actual objective is. It is to get a job, everyone knows that. Writing things like “I’m looking for a challenging role where I can expand my skill set,” is a relic of the nineties, according to HR experts.
Nowadays, you need to use your objective on a resume to show recruiters how your qualifications can translate into their success.
See these general resume objective examples written for an administrative assistant position:
Resume Objective Statements (Administrative Assistant Resume)
|English graduate with proven communication, travel planning, and email management skills. Seeking a position as an administrative assistant at Acme Inc., to leverage organizational and research skills to support internal and external communication.|
|Looking for an admin assistant role where I can apply my skills. Not much office experience yet, but I’m a self-starter and I want to make a difference.|
Both of these job objectives come from the same candidate!
In the right example, she refers to skills she learned through internships, volunteering, and in college. And she clearly shows how her qualifications will benefit the employer.
In the wrong example, she just said what she wanted out of the job. That won’t be enough to impress recruiters. All other candidates are looking for an admin assistant role.
When to use a resume objective?
As we explained earlier, career objectives for a resume should be used by candidates with little or no professional experience in the industry. These are:
- People who are entering the job market for the first time.
- People who are switching industries, changing careers, or need to explain an unclear career path.
If you are in one of these groups and need good resume-writing advice, make sure to see one of our dedicated guides:
- First Resume With No Experience: Sample & Writing Guide
- Entry-Level Resume: Sample & Writing Guide
- Student Resume: Sample & Writing Guide
- Career Change Resume: Sample & Writing Guide
Got years of experience under your belt? There are a few other types of resume introductions for candidates with relevant work history in their industries:
- Resume Summary: Examples and Writing Tips
- Resume Profile: Examples and Writing Tips
- Summary of Qualifications: Examples and Writing Tips
Not in the mood to read all that stuff? Have I got good news for you!
Our builder takes the hassle out of writing your resume: with a single click, you can a add pre-written career objectives, customized to fit your job title and level of experience. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
How to Write a Resume Objective to Land More Jobs
They say: State your objective, but...
Here’s a useful trick—
Before you write your resume objective, write the rest of your resume first.
Then, skim the cream—
Pick the most important skills and qualifications you have. They all need to appear in your career objective.
Here’s how to write an objective for a resume:
- Start with a strong trait, add 2–3 skills, describe your career goals, and say what you hope to do for the company.
- State the position to which you’re applying and use the name of the company.
- Keep it short. 2–3 sentences or 30–50 words is the sweet spot.
- Avoid first-person pronouns.
Have a look:
Example of a Career Objective for a Resume
Hard-working (strong trait) retail associate, skilled in POS tech and inventory management (2 key skills). Seeking to increase sales and customer loyalty (what you hope to do for the company) as a Sales Associate at Chiller Outfitters (the position and company name). Built volunteer retail experience at Goodwill as cashier and restocker, receiving management commendation for excellent customer communication.
And there’s one more thing—
You can’t just write one general resume objective and put it on every resume you send out. Employers will tell it’s generic copypasta.
You need to tailor every resume objective to the description of the job on offer. Look for keywords related to necessary qualifications and responsibilities. Then, mention those in your objective.
See how it works in practice.
Here’s a description of a legal assistant job with the most important keywords marked:
The candidate applying for this job hasn’t worked as a legal assistant yet. But—
She held a few part-time personal assistant jobs where her responsibilities were similar to those listed in the job ad. Plus, she completed a legal assistant course and got a certification.
Here’s her tailored career objective for a resume. Notice how the highlighted fragments match the job description:
Resume Objective Sample
Engaged, organized graduate with Duke Continuing Studies Legal Assistant Certificate, specializing in real estate law(1). 2+ years of experience in coordinating and organizing(2) key communications(3) and scheduling executive calendars(4) for the Tiffany Group team. Seeking to join Hogan & Partners to deliver excellence, timeliness, and attention to detail preparing wire transfers(5), arrangements, and expense reports(6).
See that? For your career objective on a resume to work equally well, you need to pick those nuggets from your experience and education that fit your desired job like spandex.
For more information on how to tailor every section of your resume to fit the job requirements, see: Targeted Resume: How to Make a Resume Match the Job
Five Resume Objective Statements for Most Common Scenarios & How to Write Them
In the following section, you’ll see career objectives for resume for virtually all professions and industries.
But before we move on to that, here are some resume objective samples for people in specific situations.
Candidates With No Work Experience
Let’s say you never worked full-time. Maybe you also don’t have higher education. Fret not. You can still write a stunning resume objective and land your dream job.
In your career objective statement, include:
- Strong trait.
- Your skills.
- Position name and the company.
- Value you’ll add for the employer.
See the sample career objective below.
Objective for a Resume Without Experience
Organized and motivated employee able to apply time management and organizational skills in various environments. Seeking to join Acme Corp as an administrative assistant to help ensure good internal communications and budget management.
The bottom line?
“I know what your business goals are and I can help you achieve them.”
That’s music to every employer’s ears. Despite having no experience, the candidate makes a clear offer.
Here’s how to write a resume objective if you’re entering the workforce after having graduated from college:
- Lead with your strong trait.
- Say how your education will help you perform well for the job.
- Name the position and the company you’re applying for.
- Show how you can add value to the company.
Entry-Level Resume Objective for a College Grad
Highly-motivated (strong trait) Business Administration graduate with a 3.9 GPA (education) looking to fill a position as a Management Assistant at ABC Corp (position and company). Wishing to use strong data-analysis and management skills to help the ABC Corp with your upcoming challenges (added value).
What if you’re still studying in college and looking to get a side gig to earn some extra cash or find a short-term position during holidays? It doesn’t make that much of a difference. Let’s go through writing a resume objective for college students:
- Lead with your education.
- Outline your most relevant skills.
- Name the organization you’re applying to.
- Show how you can add value.
Career Objective for a College Student
Senior year biology student at Anytown University (current GPA: 3.7) (education), looking to join XYZ State University Department of Marine Biology Research Team as a part-time research assistant (organization and position). Seeking to leverage strong data entry and lab maintenance skills (skills) gained through volunteer lab experience at the campus to ensure all research databases and libraries are easily accessible to XYZ State’s students (added value).
What if you’re looking for a full-time job but only graduated from high school? No worries! Here’s how to write your job objective on a resume:
High School Students
If you're applying for your first job, focus on the traits that will make you a good employee.
Look back at your accomplishments and activities as a student. Find traits that are easily displayed during those activities.
- Good grades? You are dedicated and focused.
- Student government? You have leadership skills.
- Team sports? You are a good team player.
- Theater? You are creative and have organizational skills.
Here’s what to include in your objective on a resume:
- Strong trait.
- The name of the position you’re targeting.
- Added value for the company.
If you have any work experience, including part-time jobs or volunteering, mention that in your high school resume objective too!
See the below career objective example for reference:
High School Student Resume Objective
Dedicated team player (captain of the swim team 2 years) (strong trait) with proven leadership and communication skills earned as an editor-in-chief of the official school blog. Seeking an opportunity to leverage my talents as a server at your restaurant (position you’re applying for). I have the follow-through and positive attitude that will allow me to achieve company targets (added value).
Got job experience but not yet in the industry to which you’re trying to transition? Here’s how to craft your resume objective:
- Start with a strong trait.
- Use your current job title.
- Describe your experience and skills.
- Use the name of the company and the position you’re targeting.
- Show how your skills will translate to add value.
See resume objective statements samples below.
The first one comes from a customer service rep wishing to start a new career as a delivery driver.
Resume Objective for a Career-Changer (Different Industry)
Diligent customer support representative with 3+ years experience at high-volume call center. Seeking to leverage fast-paced work ethic with top-rated customer service (100%) to help DHL grow and meet future demand as the new delivery driver.
And here’s another example from a candidate who has some freelance experience as a software developer and wants to start her first full-time job in programming.
Career-Change Resume Objective (Freelance to Full-Time)
Results-driven freelance software developer, seeking to use proven Python and Ruby skills to deliver coding excellence to Cryptoconic, Inc. Have developed 3 webapps and 5 mobile apps. Contributed to 7 GitHub projects and debugged 17 apps. Wrote back-end code for 40 working business websites.
Time for a recap:
Here’s what a good objective for a resume should contain:
- Strong trait: “Highly motivated.”
- Your job title: “customer service representative.”
- 2–3 skills: “trained in conflict resolution and communication.”
- Position to which you’re applying: “seeking to join XYZ as a customer service rep.”
- An offer: “to build customer loyalty by leveraging interpersonal skills and offering top customer service.”
Do you have any questions about how to write great resume objective statements and start landing more interviews? Leave a comment. I’ll be happy to help.