What is a career objective on a resume?
A career objective, most commonly known as a resume objective, is a 2 to 4-sentence self-introduction and statement of purpose you put at the top of your resume.
Each sentence of a resume objective touches upon specific information about your professional background and skillset. Together, these sentences concisely express why you’re the best candidate for a particular job opening.
Knowing how to write a good resume objective that lands you the job is a skill, and like any skill takes time to master. We’re here to teach you that skill.
After showing you how to write an objective for your resume, we’ll provide you with 30 resume objective examples for different experience levels and industries.
Does my resume need a career objective?
No, your resume doesn’t need a career objective. However, your resume does need to start with an introduction. And for many people, a job objective is the perfect opening for their resume.
The three major groups of job seekers best suited to using a resume objective are:
- People with work experience who really want a job at a specific company
- Recent graduates (with some or no experience)
- Inexperienced job seekers // high school students
If you fall into any of these groups, writing a targeted objective on your resume helps you make a stronger case to an employer as to why you’re a good fit for the job, despite any shortcomings in experience or skill.
How to write a career objective (with examples)
To write a good resume objective, first think about how your personal background (experience, skills, education, and interests) makes you the best fit for the role. Why should that specific company hire you for that job opening? What makes you better than other applicants?
The objective for your resume shouldn’t simply be about why you want the job either. Instead, your objective should demonstrate how you’d best use your skills, knowledge, and experience to help the company achieve its goals.
Here’s how to write a general resume objective if you 1.) have work experience, 2.) are a recent graduate (with little or no experience), or 3.) are an inexperienced job seeker or high-school student:
1. If you have relevant work experience
If you have two or more years of work experience related to the job you want, write your resume objective using this structure:
- First sentence: # years of relevant work experience, plus 2-4 examples of your main job duties during those years
- Second sentence: Your degree and qualifications (related licenses or certificates)
- Third sentence: How your skills qualities and qualifications make you a strong candidate for the job
Resume objective example (with experience)
Here’s an example of a professional customer service resume objective:
Customer Service Representative with 6+ years of experience of telephone and face-to-face sales, hotel bookings and account administration. Possess a BA in Communications and a SalesForce certification. Aiming to use my proven customer service, sales, and communication skills to effectively fill the managerial role in your company.
This career objective successfully (and quickly) makes the argument that the candidate would succeed in a managerial role by showcasing their relevant experience and skills right at the top of their resume.
Additionally, the candidate mentions their “proven” skills because they plan to elaborate further in their work experience section. It’s okay to make such claims about yourself if you can back them up elsewhere on your application (like in your cover letter).
2. If you’re a recent college graduate (little or no relevant experience)
When writing a recent graduate resume or college student resume, divide your resume objective statement into the following sentences to best emphasize the professional abilities you honed as a student:
- First sentence: Your degree plus years of relevant experience (if any)
- Second sentence: How you’re hard-working, reliable, and focused on achieving the company’s goals
- Third sentence: Your best provable traits, and the role in which you want to apply those traits
Sample resume objective (only internship experience)
Here’s an example resume objective written by a recent college grad:
Recent college graduate with a BA in English Literature and six months of international internship experience. Dedicated worker aiming to help achieve [Company Name]’s objectives and take on more responsibility as quickly as possible. Seeking to leverage acquired academic knowledge and work experience to effectively fill your open office clerk position.
The student who wrote this particular resume objective has internship experience. Because any type of relevant experience is valuable to employers, it should always be highlighted in the first sentence of an objective statement.
If you have no work experience or are writing a resume for an internship, you’ll need to incorporate academic accomplishments into your objective to make it effective. Here are a few resources that can help you determine your top scholastic achievements and whether they can be applied to your own resume objective:
3. If you’re in high school or have no relevant experience
If you don’t have professional experience or a college degree, you’ll need to emphasize general traits about your character, personality, and work ethic in your resume objective — any detail highlighting why you’d be a good employee if hired.
Write an effective objective for your resume by splitting it into these three sentences:
- First sentence: Self introduction where you mention your strongest (provable) traits
- Second sentence: How dependable you are, and that you have the company’s goals in mind
- Third sentence: Which role you want to fill, and the skills you can apply to that role
Resume objective sample (no experience)
Here’s an example of a career objective for a high-school student resume.
Hard-working student (3.5/4.0 GPA) with proven leadership and organizational skills, and minute attention to detail. Dedicated team player who can be relied upon to help [Company Name] achieve its goals. Seeking to apply my abilities to fill the internship role listed on your website.
This student claims to have leadership and organizational skills as their main traits, and then includes a high GPA.
Just remember that these claims must be proven later. Perhaps this student was an elected class official, or helped organize school dances. Such information should be included elsewhere in a resume if mentioned in the career objective.
Here’s a short list of school activities and their associated character traits to come up with some ideas for your own resume objective:
|School Activity||Associated Character Traits|
|Student Government:||Leadership, Management, Organization|
|Sports:||Team Player, Disciplined, Strategic|
|Theater Arts:||Public Speaking, Presentation Skills, Interpersonal Skills|
|Various Clubs:||Engaged, Active, Friendly, Enthusiastic|
|Academics:||Analytical, Hard Working, Fast Learner|
30 Resume objective examples
Looking for some job-winning resume objective examples that you can take ideas from when writing your own? Whether you need samples from experienced candidates, examples written by recent graduates, or high-school / inexperienced objective samples, we provide 10 of each below.
10 General resume objective examples (with experience)
The following 10 resume objective statements are all examples of how to write a career objective if you have 2+ years of experience in your profession:
Related resume samples:
10 Sample resume objective statements (recent graduates, little experience)
New to the workforce or applying for a job where you lack experience? These 10 sample objectives for a resume provide ideas on how to write your own good opening statement and start things off strong with a hiring manager.