According to the Pulse of the American Worker Survey by Prudential, about 1 in 4 workers plan to look for a new job after the pandemic. Whether you plan on looking for a new job or have your eye on a promotion now that things are opening up, it’s important for all professionals to create and maintain a smart, tailored resume. However, it can be intimidating to present your best self on a piece of paper. One way to get started is by writing a solid objective statement.
Do You Need a Resume Objective Statement?
A resume objective statement is a few sentences stating your value to the employer, strengths and why you are seeking the position relevant to your long-term goals. Sometimes, an objective statement is not necessary, since it takes up prime real estate right on your resume, where you could be selling yourself instead. In some cases, it could be repetitive. For example, if a company accepts a cover letter, you will want to use your cover letter to explain your goals and reasons for wanting the position in greater detail, making the resume objective statement unnecessary.
On the other hand, many companies are no longer asking for cover letters since many professionals have been furloughed or laid off due to the pandemic; in this case, using a resume objective statement is worth considering to address those items immediately on your resume.
If you decide that you need to include an objective statement on your resume, here are tips to help you get started on crafting one that stands out from the crowd:
Create a Long Version
Narrowing down your short-term goals and why you want to work for the company into a few sentences can be tough. It’s best to first create a long version of your objective statement. Once you have written down all of your short-term goals and reasons why you want that particular position, you will be better equipped to narrow down your objective to a few sentences with only the most essential details. The long version will also help you have a good starting point to delete or add details as you continue to perfect your statement with the following tips.
Include Any Important Information
Are you only looking for part-time work due to the pandemic? Are you applying for a remote job in another state or country? Are you relocating or changing industries? Make sure to include those important details in your objective statement to avoid being disqualified from the hiring process.
Resume Objective Mistakes to Avoid
— Using a cookie-cutter objective statement. Your objective statement should be tailored to each position you apply for so that it speaks directly to the company you want to work for. While in essence, your professional goals don’t change, you can word them in a certain way that most appeals to each individual job position. You will also want to include specific reasons why you want to work for the company, and that will change with each job position. While some details may stay the same (recent college grad, laid off, etc.), take the extra time to personalize your resume objective statements.
— Not clearly stating the value you provide to the company. While an objective statement should highlight your value, it’s important to make the connection to the job position. Don’t assume that the hiring manager will make the connection on their own; you need to do that for them. Ask yourself if your objective statement clearly shows how your value benefits the company you want to work for.
— Forgetting to spellcheck your objective statement. Since this section is at the top of your resume, you want to make a good impression. Grammar and spelling mistakes can get your resume tossed into the trash can, so it’s worth spending the extra time to double-check your resume objective statement. You can also ask a friend or family member to proofread it for you.
— Mentioning accomplishments that aren’t listed on your resume. If you decide to talk about a certain accomplishment or skill in your objective statement, make sure that is also listed on your resume. The hiring manager will want to see proof of what you list on your objective statement. If you don’t provide that anywhere on your resume, it will cast doubt on your entire document.
Alternatives to a Resume Objective Statement
A resume objective statement may not be the best option for your resume. In this case, you can substitute your objective statement for your branding statement. Many times your branding statement makes more impact than an objective statement. An advantage of using your branding statement is that it’s already personalized and doesn’t change for each job position.
Another alternative to a resume objective statement is making good use of the summary of qualifications section on your resume. This is where you can restate your qualifications in a slightly different way than from your cover letter. This area of your resume should also be tailored to each job position. Make sure to include the keywords from the job posting that you qualify for in this section.
Another alternative is to skip this section altogether. If your experience clearly shows that you qualify for the position, you may determine that it’s better to use that space to showcase your professional experience section on your resume instead of including an objective statement.
Resume Objective Statement Samples
If you’re seeking out inspiration before crafting your own resume objective, check out these statements:
— I am a highly-skilled, dedicated, and approachable professional with more than 10 years of experience in the marketing field. I am seeking the position of marketing director to help Company Name get amazing stories out into the marketplace.
— I am a friendly, hardworking chef with 12 years of experience in the midchain restaurant business. Due to the coronavirus, I was laid off in my last position. I’m currently seeking the position of head chef to bring my unique multinational flavors to Company Name’s table.
To see where your objective statement should go on your resume, see the following sample below.
AVA JONES 111-222-1212 | email@example.com | linkedin.com/in/avajonessample
MARKETING DIRECTOR I am a highly-skilled, dedicated, and approachable professional with more than 10 years of experience in the marketing field. I am seeking the position of Marketing Director to help Company Name get amazing stories out into the marketplace.
KEY COMPETENCIES (SKILLS) Analytical | Process Improvement | Dedicated Project Manager | Relationship Management | Motivational Mentor | Excellent Communication Skills | More Skills Here
PAST WORK EXPERIENCE Complete this section and onward as you would on a typical resume, filling in the details of past jobs, education, etc.
More from U.S. News
Update 05/26/21: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.