What is a good career objective for a resume?

Jelena Lukic

Published 26th October , 2020

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A career objective for a resume is one of the ways to begin your professional CV. This type of resume introduction is great for candidates who have little to no previous work experience. However, writing a resume isn’t an exact science, nor are there clear rules. That is why we are here to help you learn all you need to know about career objectives.

What exactly is a career objective?

A career objective (also known as a resume objective) usually consists of one short paragraph and contains a statement about your career goals. As it is one of the types of resume introductions, it is usually located at the top of your resume. A good career objective targets the specific position you are applying for and addresses its requirements. If you have no previous work experience, this intro will allow you to showcase your positive traits that make you a good match for the position in question. Additionally, a career objective can be useful if you have decided to look for a job in a new field. Whatever may be the case – if you don’t have much, or any, previous experience in this particular position, a career objective is a great way to start your resume.

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A resume shows determination and dedication.

What should you state in a career objective for a resume?

Recruiters have a lot of work cut out for them nowadays. As more and more candidates apply for a single position, a resume needs to be as convincing as possible to stand out from the competition. Also, it needs to show you are the perfect person for the position. Thus, some points you can include into a career objective include

  • personal traits
  • work ethic
  • academic accomplishments

However, listing these will not be enough. Before you submit your resume and apply for the job, you need to understand which traits to highlight and which way to do it. Hence, we recommend reading and understanding the job description in the posting itself first. To put it simply, you will have to acquire an understanding of the perfect candidate for the position. Understand what the company is looking for and think about your previous experiences, whether from life, school or a previous job. How do you fit into the image of the perfect candidate? A career objective is there to convince the recruiters you are exactly what they are looking for. Hence, you will have to describe your personality and earlier works so that they show how hiring you can help the team and the company as a whole.

In other words, your resume shouldn’t be set in stone. As a matter of fact, you should be prepared to write many versions. The number of different versions should be equal to the number of jobs you are applying for. Each company is looking for something different, and they all have diverse priorities. Hence, if the posting isn’t giving you enough hints, you should look into the company itself, as to fit their preferred employee profile.

A job interview.
Learn how to adapt your objectives with the company in mind.

Common mistakes

Getting that first job can seem like a tedious and never-ending task. Especially so in a global period of turmoil. And now you’ve found out you will have to make changes to your resume as well. This can have a discouraging effect. However, we are here to help you by also pointing out some mistakes many inexperienced employees-to-be make. Here’s what not to write in a career objective.

Don’t put yourself first. We understand you have goals, plans for your career and expectations from the job itself. However, you will not get a great reaction from a recruiter if you list them off in your resume. To put it simply – think about what you can do for the company, not vice-versa.

Don’t be vague. A career objective is supposed to be personal and allow the recruiters to get an idea about who you are as a person. Thus, be as specific as you can. Write about how your skills and knowledge can be applied to the position, and don’t just state you have them.

Don’t make the statement too long. Remember, the recruiter is probably going to give your resume only a casual glance. Hence, you will have to make an impact, even though you have a very limited amount of space.

How to write an objective?

As we have mentioned, there are multiple cases where a career objective can come in handy. Here is the short of it.

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Have a vision!

A general objective can be useful if you have had some experience in the industry. It contains your years of experience, specific qualities that make you a great fit for the concrete company and posting, and your degree, certifications, or licenses.

If you have had no professional experience, be it whatsoever or in the specific industry, an entry-level objective can open many doors. It should contain your degree and work experience if you have it, your strongest traits and skills, as well as convince the hiring manager you are reliable and trustworthy.

Lastly, if you are changing industries, you should list all your traits, skills, and knowledge that can be used in the new job as well.


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