Writing a perfect resume summary doesn't have to be a hassle. Follow our step-by-step guide with ready-to-use summary examples to write a resume summary that gets interviews.
You've sent in your resume.
Now it sits in a pile of 250 of them.
To make matters worse, the hiring manager scans each one for about 6 seconds as they narrow it down between passes and fails.
Your chances look bleak, huh?
Not at all, actually, if you read this article and apply it to write the best resume opening statement in the deck.
In this guide, we’ll show you:
- The difference between a bad career objective statement and an effective one.
- How to write a resume objective statement that gets results.
- Dozens of general resume objective examples for various scenarios.
Save hours of work and get a resume like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy. Choose from 18+ resume templates and download your resume now.
What users say about ResumeLab:
I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your resume.”
I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work!
My previous resume was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful!
1. First of All, What Is a Resume Objective?
A resume objective (or objective statement) is a brief paragraph stating your professional goals and skills. A good resume objective should be tailored to the company you are applying for. In short, the objective statement is your best chance to show the recruiter that your career goals are aligned with the position you are applying for.
If you want to know what to put on a resume, this resume statement is a must.
Choose the resume objective when:
- You have little to no work experience (resume for first job)
- You have a resume with no experience related to this particular job
- You are changing careers (one industry to another)
- You’re targeting a very specific position.
It goes at the very top of the page when it’s a multiple-column resume, or just under your contact details on a single-column resume.
Don’t confuse professional objectives with resume summaries! They are both types of resume profiles.
A resume summary is a brief intro paragraph providing an overview of your qualifications and position-related skills. Use it when applying for a position in which you have experience.
Expert Hint: Employment objectives are sometimes referred to as career objectives, career goals, or objective summary statements. If you’re really gung-ho about marketing yourself, you might call it a power proposition, mission statement, or value proposition.
2. Do I Need an Objective Statement for Resumes?
“So, uh, here’s a list of my work history. What should I do now?”
A resume without an objective feels directionless and undecided.
That’s not the first impression you want to make as an applicant.
When done correctly, a professional statement at the top of your resume shows you know what you’re looking for.
On top of that, it helps both computers (ATS) and HR people scan and sort your resume properly, as they understand immediately the position you’re applying for.
Remember that initial 6-second scan? You’ll graduate to the next step (a more dedicated read) only when they find specific resume keywords in your objective.
Some people say to leave off the objective, because it’s usually way too generic, unlike most summaries. And, if it becomes too specific, it could work against the applicant by not considering them for jobs they could be qualified for.
Find the right balance. This is the point of a targeted resume, and a resume tailored to one particular job is much stronger than something generic.
So, never discard the resume objective!
We’ll show you now how to write an objective which convinces the employer you’ve got what it takes.
Expert Hint: Write an objective tailored specifically to this one job. Tailoring a resume is an absolute must these days, and there is no place more important to practice this than here in the resume introduction.
The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.
Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.
3. Good Resume Objectives vs Bad Ones
A great objective for a resume should state all of these:
- Who you are now (student, career changer, etc.)
- The position you’re aiming for (this is your goal, or objective, after all).
- Relevant skills you’ll bring (including transferable skills)
- Your work experience, background, education, key accomplishment, or achievement
- A brief statement of how the company would benefit from hiring you.
But, that’s not all. A truly effective objective skimps on the fluff, goes heavy on the numbers, and is super-specific.
Here are two resume objective samples:
See the differences on these resume objective statement examples?
The bad one is just one cliché after another, generic to a fault, and all about you.
The hiring manager would yawn and move on to the next candidate if they read this.
Now, how about that good one!
That one shows focus and is tailored right to the company (Big Blue). You state specifically which role you’re aiming for (jr. net admin).
Also, the hiring manager can easily see how your university coursework (computer sci), with numbers (two years), and your skills (virt. tech & net protocols) perfectly fit the role.
Finally, you kept it about them rather than telling them what you want out of the deal. No general resume objective here! Bravo!
Expert Hint: You may use subheadings to introduce other resume sections (and we recommend it!), but skip it here—it’s self-explanatory.
4. How to Write an Objective for a Resume?
Let’s break writing a resume objective statement for a specific job down into just a few easy steps:
Step 1: Study the Job Ad Carefully
When you’re writing your resume, you should always have the job ad in question open. This way, you’ll keep it tailored as you go along.
The same is true when making an objective for resumes.
The job ad is full of resume keywords the employer searches for to decide who gets the interview. They’re giving wording hints there, but still many people ignore this and send a generic resume (and wonder why they’re not getting replies).
Never ignore keywords from the job ad.
Just look at this sample job description for a copy editor:
- Bachelor’s degree.
- Experience as copy editor for publication or equivalent editorial experience[a].
- Excellent editing, writing, grammar, and proofreading skills[b].
- Eye for detail and meticulous approach to work.
- Ability to meet tight deadlines without compromising quality.
- Excellent communication skills[c]. Must know how to be persuasive yet tactful when working with writers and editors.
- Ability to retain writer’s voice in the story after copyediting.
This is an ideal guide on how to write your own objective on a resume for this position.
We highlighted: a) equivalent editorial experience, b) editing, writing, grammar, and proofreading skills, and c) tactful, persuasive communication skills.
You will include all these as your transferable skills and relevant experience later.
Step 2: Identify Who You Are Now & Who You Want to Be
This part forms the beginning of our statement.
Who you are now: This is your current position title or status. Add a positive and true adjective (or two). For our example, we’ll be:
Award-winning high school English teacher…
Who you want to be: This is the specific position you’re applying for (remember, we’re keeping it tailored). In our objective example, you want to be hired as:
...the new copy editor...
Step 3: Explain How They’ll Benefit from Hiring You
Never forget that the key to an effective resume objective is how you’ll benefit the company should you be hired. Not what you want.
So, regarding our sample resume objective, you will write this:
…Seeking to use proven editing, writing, communication, and team-leading skills to…
Step 4: Put It All Together
Now, combine everything and make one super-compelling resume objective:
Award-winning high school English teacher of 5 years focusing on creative writing and editing of over 75 students per semester. Seeking to use proven editing, writing, communication, and team-leading skills to stimulate and support the growth of the Astoria Magazine team as the new copy editor.
How about that?
We hit all your targets:
- Who you are (English teacher) and who we want to be (copy editor)
- Numbers to show rather than tell (5 years, 75 students)
- Tailored with keywords (editing experience, communication skills)
- How you benefit them (experience will help team grow)
- Tailored to them specifically (you named the company and role)
Now that’s an objective statement to be proud of!
Expert Hint: Your resume objective is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to include more skills, experience, or numbers, don’t make it longer. Instead, sprinkle them around in the relevant areas of your resume and cover letter.
5. Effective Job Objective Examples
Here are a few resume career objective examples for different positions:
Sample Resume Objectives for IT Resume
Customer support specialist with 4+ years experience at computer repair shop. Obtained highest scores in build knowledge (100%) and quality (97.9%). Seeking to facilitate growth at the Nerd Patrol as the new IT technician.
Good Objective for Resume for Flight Attendant
Friendly and helpful university graduate with 4 semester studying hospitality seeking to leverage customer service and safety skills to become a junior flight attendant with Lufthansa Airlines.
Assistant Store Manager Resume Objective Sample
Dependable preschool teacher with 3+ years experience in early learning and developmental growth of over 150 students per year. Seeking to use proven leadership and management skills to join and grow with the Big Box team as the new assistant store manager.
Example Objective on Resume for Real Estate
Personable teller with 2 years experience at small, local bank. Obtained highest client satisfaction grade (98.2%) in 2018. Seeking to aid growth of the Benson Homes real estate management crew as the new property consultant.
Expert Hint: Choose the “right” skills for your objective and on the rest of your resume. The job ad could say they need someone proficient with Microsoft Excel, but add that to your career objective ONLY if it’s the most impressive thing you can put there.
6. Tips for Making Your Career Objective Outshine Others
Save Writing It for the End
Your objective statement is the first thing they’ll see and read, because it’s the first thing on the page.
But, that doesn’t mean it is the first thing you write.
One great resume hack is to save writing the objective for a resume for the very end.
As the topmost item and the first thing they’ll read, you need to get it right.
First, knock out the entire resume.
Then, you’ll have all the achievements and selling points on hand to write a professional career objective.
Direct their Gaze
A bit of bold and italics works great when you want to highlight the best parts. (If used sparingly!)
A great place to do that?
Your resume objective, of course!
Remember that your resume will be glanced at initially for around 6 seconds.
Graphic aid such as this helps the hiring manager by making it more readable—a huge advantage over those 249 other resumes!
Be Objective vs Subjective
A good resume objective is, well, objective.
Remove subjective statements. Do say how dependable, results-driven, and detail-oriented you are.
Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man.
Make your case with with numbers and by giving actual results.
It shows rather than tells.
Don’t Ask for the Lowest Position
Career objectives on a resume work great for entry-level positions.
However, if that’s what you’re seeking, don’t mention it, because why ask for the lowest position?
Instead, skip that “entry-level” prefix and go with the root phrase.
You may have just given yourself a promotion before you even sign the contract!
Expert Hint: “Are cover letters important?” Our recent study shows that to over 80% of recruiters cover letter are an important factor when making hiring decisions.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
- Write a resume objective specifically for each job.
- Use the job ad to guide and inform your writing.
- Your resume objective has to always be about them, not you.
- Show, don’t tell. Use numbers to prove what you’re saying.
Got questions or comments on how to write a resume objective? Not sure how to get this resume advice to work for your career objective scenario? Scroll down a bit further and get at us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you, and thanks for reading!