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Resume Objective Wording

by Ellie Williams

When employers review your resume, they likely see your objective first. Because of its placement at the top of the document, it immediately makes an impression and can distinguish you from other candidates. For maximum impact, craft an objective that’s specific, tailored to the position you’re seeking and filled with concrete language.

Be Concise

Your objective introduces your resume and briefly tells employers what you’re looking for in a position and what you can offer as an employee. Limit your objective to a sentence or two. You don’t need to summarize your entire work history or list every skill or talent you possess. Instead, select a few details most relevant to the type of job for which you’re applying. If you’re seeking a senior position at an advertising agency, for example, stress that you’re looking for a role requiring direct interaction with clients. Omit your experience writing copy unless the job calls for it.

Focus on the Employer

Build your objective around what you can do for employers, not what they can do for you. For example, eliminate “I-centered” language such as “I hope to find a job that will enable me to advance to a managerial position.” Instead, say “An assistant supervisory position requiring strong management skills and experience overseeing a multi-office sales team.” This draws the employer’s attention to two of your most impressive qualifications and demonstrates your interest in contributing to the organization’s success.

Create a Niche for Yourself

Your objective is essentially a branding statement that markets your skills and qualifications. Just as a company slogan focuses on one or two benefits consumers can expect if they purchase the product, your objective should be centered around your greatest strengths. Tailor your objective to the position for which you’re applying. If you’re seeking a nursing position, for example, write “A full-time RN position in a pediatric ward catering to children with traumatic suffering from brain injuries and other neurological conditions.”

Use Vivid Language

Avoid vague language and cliches such as “seeking a challenging and interesting position.” General statements such as this tell the employer little about your career goals, your qualifications or why you want the job. They also don’t set your resume apart from the dozens of other resumes the employer receives. Paint employers a picture of what they can expect if they hire you. For example, write “a clinical research position requiring extensive knowledge of standard oncology protocols and experience working with experimental medications.”

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