How to Write a Career Objective
A career objective is basically a short statement which clearly defines the position you wish to seek, setting the context for the remainder of your resume. It is an essential first step in resume writing as it’s the very first thing that a prospective employer will see – and if not well-constructed, it can be the last. Why do you need one? Here are some solid reasons.
A career objective puts you in the proper position of “posing” yourself to an employer. This may sound like over-the-top corporate mumbo jumbo, but employers know that when they see a resume with no career objective, it’s a pretty weak package to start with. It gives them a vague sense of who you are without being able to pin down specific skills you have sought out or even defined. A resume objective immediately puts you into the position of wanting to learn more about this important new position and wants you to let them know that you are truly interested in pursuing it.
A career objective also shows that you have calculated how much professional experience you have garnered and how relevant those skills are to the new job. Let’s face it: employers aren’t looking for applicants who’ve spent five years experience in corporate America. They’re looking for candidates who have relevant skills and experience that can help them grow their business. Therefore, it’s important that you craft your resume in such a way that your objective states what you can bring to the table, rather than just listing your entire years of experience.
The final major benefit of a career objective relates directly to the process of seeking out and networking with industry leaders and other experienced professionals. Without this, you’re essentially shooting yourself in the foot. Let’s face it: the Internet Age has brought virtually instantaneous global networking to the workplace, but this doesn’t mean that you should ignore applying for jobs at industry-specific companies. Networking with industry leaders can be invaluable, but only when you take the time to ask for referrals and showcase your work experience and skills. An objective immediately puts you into the position of seeking out others in your line of work who might have opportunities for advancement; if you simply send out an application, you’re missing out on an opportunity to connect with industry leaders.
So, how do you craft your career objectives to set you apart? Consider how your objective could change with the hiring manager’s ever-changing needs. If you have specific career goals based on your personal interests, you can create something that will help you stand out from the rest. However, if your career goals are more generic, you may want to reword them or even rewrite them to fit the hiring manager’s evolving vision.
Another option is to make a career objective statement as part of the resume, which allows you to tailor it to the hiring manager’s words. For instance, if you have strong abilities in networking and improving processes, create a paragraph that talks about those skills. If you’re a highly skilled craftsman, add that skill set to your career objective statement. On the other hand, if you’re not very skilled at anything, simply state that you have the ability to learn new skills.
Don’t forget to talk about the benefits of applying to their company. Most companies value applicants who show a genuine interest in the industry and who show that they are committed to their current positions. For instance, if you’re applying to be a full-time, permanent nanny, mention how you’ve always wanted a position like this. Include details about benefits such as being able to raise a family while working full-time, the benefits of working flexible hours, and how much fun you’re having while supporting your children full-time. If you have strong skills in dealing with children or a passion for working with families, you might also want to mention your passion for your work.
Once you’ve written your career objective, spend a few minutes reading through it to make sure you understand its basic purpose and how you can use it to your advantage. Then take all three sentences and break them down into three individual sentences. Your next order of business should be to compose a couple paragraphs that highlight the benefit of applying for that job. Repeat the process for each objective and description that you create. When your finished draft, reread it to make sure there aren’t any typos or grammatical errors. Follow these steps once more, and then print out two copies: one for yourself and one for your supervisor or hiring manager.