This article is going to start with a brief overview of objective statements, including how they are used in both resumes as well as cover letters. Next, a format will be reviewed, including the three components of a good objective statement. Finally, examples will be provided, illustrating how to go about writing an objective statement.
While some experts will suggest that an objective statement belongs in a resume, none of the modern-day formats include one. To understand why they're typically excluded, it's necessary to understand their purpose.
The purpose of an objective statement is to tell the reader what the job applicant is trying to achieve: Their personal or professional objectives. The statement is a concisely written declaration, which answers the question: Why is the job applicant sending a resume to the company or hiring manager?
Since the purpose of the statement is to explain why a resume is being sent to the reader, it should be easy to understand why it belongs in the cover letter. There is really no good reason for including an objective statement on a resume, it's a waste of precious space.
Even with that explanation, a lot of job applicants may still want to use an objective statement in the resume they're writing. That's an individual choice that's best left to the writer's creative instincts. Whether the statement appears in a cover letter or in a resume, the format is the same.
The objective statement is typically included as the second paragraph of a cover letter. The first paragraph should give the reader a good reason to continue reading on to the resume itself. It should present career highlights and achievements, and get the reader excited about the prospects of the job applicant working at their company.
Once the reader is convinced the applicant has the right skills and experience, the next step is to tell them why a resume is being sent to their attention. For example, an individual might be responding to an advertisement found on a website or in a newspaper. In these situations, it's important to identify the exact position the individual is seeking at the company.
If the applicant is looking for a job within an organization, but doesn't know the exact job title, the format used is more of an "organizational" objective statement. This approach would be more "vague" than one targeting a specific position in an organization.
Writers should avoid using an objective statement that is so restrictive the reader does not see a good fit in their organization or, even worse, in the company. This is another good reason for putting the statement in the cover letter, and not on the resume itself. It is much easier to modify an objective statement on a cover letter to fit an organization, than it is to rewrite a resume for every prospective job.
The ideal format used in a cover letter contains three parts or components from the writer's perspective:
The examples below will demonstrate how to use these three components to build objective statements.
As previously mentioned, if the job applicant has multiple objectives, then they're going to need several versions. For example, a job applicant may be interested in both a general management team position, as well as a marketing job. Achieving that goal requires developing multiple statements.
Below are some examples that would appear in the second paragraph of a cover letter:
I want to bring to your attention the achievements, skills, strategic thinking, and leadership abilities enabling me to exceed earnings goals under less than ideal economic conditions so that we can discuss my joining XYZ Company as a member of your Financial Planning group.
I am presenting to you my skills, work ethic, achievements, and no-nonsense negotiating abilities so that we can discuss my joining ABC Company as a member of your Spend Management team.
I am bringing to your attention my skills, achievements, and ability to lead personnel in a direction that provides superior earnings so that we can discuss my joining Company ABC s a member of your Real Estate team.
I am presenting to you my achievements, skills, energy, and talent for identifying superior job candidates so that we can discuss my joining Company XZY as a member of your Human Resources department.
While the purpose of an objective statement is the same, whether it appears in a cover letter or in a resume, writing one appearing in a resume is accomplished taking a slightly different approach.
When placed in a resume, the statement first tells the reader the type of position desired, and then explains why the applicant is qualified for the job opening. Keeping in mind that contemporary resumes do not include objective statements, below are several samples demonstrating how to write one for a resume:
To obtain a position in your Financial Planning group that utilizes the achievements, skills, strategic thinking, and leadership abilities, which enable me to consistently exceed earnings goals under less than ideal economic conditions.
To obtain a position as a member of your Spend Management team that utilizes my skills, work ethic, achievements, and no-nonsense negotiating abilities.
To secure a position as a valuable member of your real estate team that leverages my skills, achievements, and ability to lead personnel in a direction that provides superior earnings.
To secure a position as a valued member of your Human Resources department that leverages my achievements, skills, energy, and talent for identifying superior job candidates.
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