How to Write a Career Objective (With Examples)
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A career objective pitches your skills and experience to a recruiter on your resume. Placed at the top after your name and address, it's often the first item on your CV to get the recruiter's attention. A well-written career objective helps you differentiate your CV from other applicants and impress the recruiter in a span of a few seconds.
In this article, we explore what a career objective is, how to write one and provide examples that you can follow.
What is a career objective?
A career objective is a brief description of your strengths, skills and experience at the beginning of your CV. Recruiters often receive a large number of job applications and hardly get time to go through all the CVs in detail. Your career objective, on the top section of your CV, is the first impression you make on a recruiter. It tells them exactly why they should choose you over other candidates.
When to add a career objective in your CV
Not all resumes have career objectives, so it's up to you whether you would like to include it or not. Whether you are a fresh graduate applying for an entry-level position or an experienced professional making a career change, it's highly desirable that you use a career objective like an elevator pitch.
For example, if you have just completed your undergraduate degree, a recruiter can quickly assess your suitability for a job if you write a career objective to explain how your education and skills can help you excel.
Similarly, if you are an experienced leader in the field of marketing, but are applying for the position of a HR Executive, adding a career objective can help the recruiter understand the reason behind your career change.
Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a CV
How to write a career objective for your CV
Here are a few steps and tips to help you write an impressive career objective on your CV:
1. Review the job description
You should tailor your career objective for each job you apply for. Aligning your career objective with the company and the job position gives confidence to the recruiter that you are committed to stay with the company long term.
First, review the job description to understand the specific requirements of the position. Make note of the exact words the recruiter uses to describe the qualifications and qualities needed for the role. Additionally, visit the company's website to learn more about their work culture, business, types of projects they undertake and the kind of people they employ.
2. Identify relevant skills and qualities
Based on the job description, company history, mission statement and other information you gather about the position, make an honest assessment of your skills, experience and abilities to describe in your career objective.
Did your previous job help you develop certain skills that are relevant for the given position? Did you participate in any event in university that proves certain qualities that you possess? Think about the qualities that put you in a distinct advantage for the job over other candidates.
3. Highlight your suitability for the job
State your career goal and how the given position fits into it. Explain the value proposition you bring to the organisation. Include some of the most relevant skills and qualifications that make you suitable for the given job. Remember that an effective career objective is always two-sided. On one hand, it should show that the given job is exactly what you are looking for, while explaining the benefits the company gets by hiring you.
If the job requires you to be qualified with a specific educational degree or have a certain level of experience in a given area, consider adding this information in your career objective. Doing so, will help recruiters knows at first glance that you are eligible for the position.
4. Include keywords
Whether you are describing your career aspirations or your strengths and qualifications for a position, try to use the same keywords the recruiter mentioned in their job description. For example, if the job description says "Responsibilities include preparing balance sheet," consider using the word, "balance sheet" in your career objective statement too. This will help you grab the recruiter's attention quickly and easily.
Another reason for using keywords is that many companies use automated software to scan CVs for certain terms. This method increases your chances of getting through such automated shortlisting process.
5. Make it concise and clear
Limit the length of your career objective to two or three sentences. Anything longer than that may distract the recruiter. Remember that the whole idea of including a career objective is to save the recruiter's time and make your point in about 30 seconds. You have the rest of the CV to include more details.
Use simple and clear language to avoid any confusion. Always prefer active voice over passive. For example, "I did…" is more preferable than "…was done by me". Ensure that your career objective is engaging and sounds professional instead of being a mere list of skills and abilities.
6. Put it at the top
Place the career objective section at the top of your resume's main body, i.e., immediately after the header containing your name and address. It should serve as an introduction to your CV, so that the recruiter gets an idea as to what they can expect from the rest of the document.
7. Format it properly
Format the career objective section to standout on you CV. You may use a bold or italicised font, but make sure to use a consistent format throughout your entire CV. Some job seekers may also place their career objective in a shaded box. Whichever option you choose, make sure it is easy to ready and professional.
8. Proofread and edit
Your entire CV should be free from spelling and grammatical errors, but it is all the more important for your career objective to be error-free, because it is the first impression you create. Errors are a huge distraction and may deter the recruiter from reading your CV further. Furthermore, if you claim to be someone that is careful and attentive to details, an error-free career objective will serve as supporting evidence.
Career objective examples
Here are some examples of career objective that you can make your own on your resume:
Fresh graduate with a bachelor's degree in business looking for a suitable opening in the administrative field. Detail-oriented with excellent organisational and coordination skills. Fluent in oral and written communication. Hoping to join a reputable company where I can put my skills to good use.
An accomplished project manager with over a decade of experience in implementing and strategising large construction projects. Holds PMP certification and a master's degree in construction management. A team player with strong communication and analytical skills.
A highly passionate English language teacher with bachelor of arts in English Studies and PGDE in education. Five years of experience in teaching students up to year 10. Looking for a permanent teaching position in an international school.
“B.Tech in mechanical engineering with three years of experience in handling industrial machinery. Seeking a challenging position in a growing organisation that will allow me to leverage my creativity and innovative ideas to develop efficient machinery for various industries.”
“B.Tech in electrical engineering with eight years of experience in maintaining electrical appliances. Comfortable in designing circuits and modifying the design of a product to enhance efficiency. Capable of managing contracts and dealing with clients.”
“A detail-oriented CPA with nine years of experience in preparing and filing tax returns for individuals and corporate assessees. Can prepare final accounts including profit and loss account, balance sheet and cash flow statement. Relocating to Hong Kong in April this year and looking to use my expertise to serve a government organisation.”
Customer service professional
“Hard-working customer service representative with an excellent track record of serving customers in a large shopping mall. Exceptional communicator and proactive in addressing customer complaints. Seeking a position to use my skills and experience to serve customers in a retail department store.”
“Compassionate and patient-oriented registered nurse with four years of experience in a multi-specialty hospital. Working in emergency care for the last one year. Looking to utilise my knowledge and experience to improve the lives of patients.”
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