Career Objective – Does Your Resume Need It

career objective
Written by Richard White

Do you need a career objective in your resume? The answer, as you will find out, career objectiveis not a simple yes or no. Different employers and recruiters have different perceptions about this. You need to identify the necessity of this section before you include it in your career summary document.

Let’s discuss whether a career objective is any good for your resume.

An Introduction that Sells or a Waste of Space?

Some recruiters love the resumes that have a solid career objective that states why the candidate is a good choice for the position and the company. It tells them the skills and experience that the candidate has and how these can be translated into success, overcoming a challenge, penetrating new markets and benefitting the company in any other way.

Some recruiters are not so enthusiastic about this section. They consider it a waste of space on the document and a waste of time for them. They believe that the candidate had better devote this space to some other concrete material, such as credentials or achievements.

It is not possible for you to know about the preference of the recruiter (unless you can read their minds)! What do you do then? Some candidates are best suited to include this section in their resumes, but more on that later. If you decide to include this section, you need to make it to-the-point; a recruiter spares only 15 seconds for it.

A Great Choice When Custom-made

A general career objective for your resume, used for all applications for all positions and all companies, fails to impress any of them. It shows your lack of care for the position and the company. It also shows that you do not have anything definite to say.

Things become worse if your career goal is just a summary of your qualifications and experience. The recruiter can go through your resume to find these details; there is no need for such superfluous points. If you have a general resume that you use for all applications, you had better not include a career objective at all.

A good career objective is one that is about how the recruiter can benefit from you; not the other way round. You need to tell them how you fit in the scheme of things and how your skills and expertise help the company to achieve something.

A Good Way to Begin Your Resume

If you have an impressive skill-set, you may begin your resume with a summary of your qualifications and the way this fits with the position and the company. For example, if you are an accountant with commendable skills and expertise in the corporate sector, you may begin your resume with an objective such as:

Skilled and dependable accountant specialized in the recording, maintenance and analysis of financial data in a corporate environment.

This simple and straightforward objective talks about your skills and expertise in the job role and in the company you apply to. It provides a hint of your credentials and experience, but does not provide any specific details about them. It also emphasizes that you are the right candidate for the position and the company.

A Convenient Approach for Certain Job-seekers

A summary of your qualifications and experience and how this fits in with the position and the company is a good way to begin for a professional. What about the entry-level job-seekers? And the candidates who want to change their careers?

If you seek an entry-level position, chances are you do not have any skills or experience to show. Instead of focusing on those, emphasize on your credential and your goal. For example, as a new Human Resource degree holder, you may write: Dedicated Human Resource graduate seeking an entry-level position.

For career changers, it is best to stick to the transferable skills that would help you make the shift from one career to the other. Again, remember, it is not about how you can benefit from the company, but how the company can benefit from you.

A Little Obscurity and the Leverage is Lost

A resume that begins with a career objective such as, “seeking a challenging position with the scope for professional growth” is very likely to end up in the trash can. Why is this so? Well, for the simple reason that it does not convey anything. If you are so vague about your career goal, how can you be clear about how to achieve it?

It is ALWAYS important to be specific in every section of your resume! Anything vague can lead to the loss of interest in a recruiter. The result is obvious – no interview calls for you. It is essential that you have a definite objective in mind.

You may prepare your resume on your own or appoint a professional to write it for you; whatever you do, make sure the career objective is appropriate, that is – if you decide to include it. It serves as the first introduction to the recruiter, and, it would be your last if you fail to create the right impression.

photo credit: Yu Hwang-Wu Korean language lecturer via photopin cc

About the author

Richard White

Richard White works as an editor at Yellow Brick Path. He enjoys varying his work and researching new and different approaches to his work. He shares an interest in career counseling and recruitment. Follow him on Twitter