Whether you call it a personal branding statement, experience overview, or resume objective, a career objective statement creates an important first impression.
A well-crafted statement lets hiring managers learn about your skills and career highlights in a straightforward way. That’s if a hiring manager even makes it to your resume, of course.
With an increasingly competitive pool of candidates, we have compiled steps to help you craft a career objective that will enable your resume to stand out and get through that first read.
Let's look at what a career objective is and how to make yours meet today’s resume standards.
- What is a career objective?
- How to Write a Career Objective
- How to Write an Objective for a Career Change
- Career Objective Examples
What is a career objective?
A career objective is a succinct paragraph that summarizes your professional experiences, skills, and goals. It is usually two to three sentences long and sits at the top of your resume under your name and contact information.
Your career objective is some of the first information hiring managers will see when scanning your resume, so it needs to be unique to stand out. You can do this in several ways, including:
- Tailoring the objective to the role you’re applying for.
- Adding top keywords.
- And highlighting relevant skills.
The result should be a concise summary that’s clear, actionable, and compelling. Bonus if you can hint at your personality.
But what does that look like? Here are the steps you can follow to create a great career objective for any role.
How to Write a Career Objective
1. Refer to the job description.
It’s easy to copy and paste information from a job description into your career objective. But to show originality and stand out, you have to understand what a hiring manager wants.
Do this by looking for the most in-demand skills or characteristics for the role. These are often listed within the job description under a section labeled “Required Skills” or “Core Responsibilities.”
You can find the right skills or traits to include by cross-referencing the list with any additional descriptions about the company or position. Using these words shows the recruiter that you have done your homework about the specific job, instead of mass sending out your resume.
Once you comb through the job description, create a list of the top 10 traits and skills you want to include in your statement. You may not use all of them, but it will help you draft your career objective statement.
2. Know your value.
If you’re knee-deep in the job hunt, you can probably recite your strengths in your sleep. Instead, write down the specific ways you add value to your list of skills and traits.
These can include your strengths, degrees, licenses, or certifications. It’s also worth mentioning any strong connections you have, such as working for top-tier clients or experience speaking at industry events. Just make sure the experience is relevant to the company, industry, and role.
Again, look to the job description to understand how you can highlight your value to the company.
3. Keep it concise.
A career objective should be no more than three sentences. Your resume will cover your specific work experience, core skills, education, volunteer experience, and certifications. Instead, provide a more general overview of your passions, skills, and values.
Write a draft of your career objective using the list you created in steps one and two. Your first few drafts may be more than three sentences. That’s okay.
Try to remove any excessive language, like “that,” “a,” and “the.” And don’t worry too much about using complete sentences (see this in action in the examples below).
Here’s what a career objective should and should not look like for a growth marketer role.
If you get stuck, have a trusted friend, colleague, or mentor review the statement. They may be able to offer feedback and correct any errors.
You want your objective to be as polished as possible, so have one or more pairs of eyes review your work.
How to Write an Objective for a Career Change
You may be comfortable writing a career objective for a field you have experience in, but what if you’re changing careers?
The goal when writing this type of career objective is to tie your previous experience into your desired role as much as possible. This requires you to draw connections between your past work and your new career.
Let’s look at an example where the candidate is aiming to transition from an accounting career to one in marketing.
The candidate uses the career objective to explain their career switch and draw attention to their analytical skills — a must-have in many marketing careers.
Now that you have an idea of how to compose your career objective, check out these examples below to get further inspiration.
Career Objective Examples
No matter what the role is, from software engineering to sales, there are specific phrases that will help you take your first step. These five catch-all phrases can help you get started:
- Seeking an entry-level position to begin my career in a high-level professional environment.
- To obtain a challenging and rewarding position in a dynamic organization where I can utilize my skills and experience to contribute to the growth and success of the company.
- To secure a challenging and responsible position in a reputable organization where I can apply my knowledge and skills to contribute to the success of the company.
- Organized and motivated employee able to apply time management and organizational skills in various environments.
- Seeking a position in a fast-paced, customer-oriented environment where I can use my strong communication and problem-solving skills to provide excellent service and support.
And as always, you should add your own flair to each of these, but hopefully, they can help you get the ball rolling.
However, each role will also have its distinct requirements, and your career objective needs to reflect those unique traits. Look to the following examples for inspiration when writing your statement.
Detail-oriented English major seeking to leverage excellent written and verbal communication skills to succeed as an intern at ABC company. Excels at working on teams with 3+ years of experience as captain of the lacrosse team at ABC University.
What we like: Even though they do not have explicit work experience, they highlight their leadership skills with a specific example.
Recent Graduate Application
Recent graduate with a B.A. in business administration looking to start my career in finance with an internship at ABC Inc.
Experienced in analyzing financial statements and annual reports for several university projects. Seeking to further develop my theoretical know-how with strong mentorship at ABC Inc.
Pro tip: Include what you hope to get out of the job experience as well. This makes your objective more personal.
Data-savvy lifecycle marketing manager with seven years of experience crafting omnichannel customer journeys.
Successfully built customer programs that increased loyalty by 25% using best practices for lifecycle frameworks and communication strategies. Strong analytical skills and familiarity with various ESP and CRM software.
What we like: The use of specific metrics makes the candidate’s added value clear and tangible.
Highly creative communications specialist who excels in collaborative, fast-paced environments. Over the past four years, I’ve coordinated and refined content for marketing industry leaders to ensure company narratives are compelling and accurate.
Experience managing content libraries, social media platforms, and internal newsletters.
Pro tip: Give examples of what you’ve worked on. This experience makes it clearer to the recruiter that you’ve worked diligently in your previous role.
Creative lead with a knack for developing strong client relationships and innovative branding strategies. Over 10 years of experience crafting strategic marketing plans that have led to 45% growth in clients’ brand awareness.
Excellent communicator and coordinator with the ability to foster long-term partnerships while ensuring teams stay on track.
What we like: Again, the success metrics help this applicant stand out.
Approachable, dedicated, and hardworking human resources coordinator with three years of experience.
Seeking a position as an HR manager with a company that values knowledge of the industry, the ability to implement improvements for employee satisfaction, exceptional work performance, and previous work experience.
What we like: All the adjectives are taken from the job description, making it clear that this career objective was written specifically with that role in mind.
Fullstack Software Engineer
A curious learner and excellent team player searching for a challenging position as a full-stack software engineer at ABC Inc.
Hoping to use my technical competencies and knowledge of modern frameworks and technologies, such as graph QL, React.js, Node.js, and Firebase.
Best for: Those with technical skills they want to highlight. Show a range of valued skills for the desired role.
Recent business management graduate with highly proficient data analysis skills, seeking a position as a business analyst for ABC Software Solutions.
Motivated to apply skills in business technology, data analytics, and strategic planning and development to improve business performance, reduce costs, and increase profitability. Proficient in Python, Excel, and Looker.
Pro tip: If you have specific skills you want to ensure are seen, add them to the end of the career objective so they are clear and apparent.
Seeking the position of regional sales manager at ABC Company. I can use my five years of sales experience to identify sales opportunities through sales activation, people management, relationship development, and networking to improve the bottom line and increase company revenue. Achieved 120% of quota in my previous role.
What we like: Sales is highly quantifiable, so make sure you show you’re a high performer with key metrics.
Finance student with 3.92 GPA from ABC University, seeking an entry-level financial analyst position at ABC Inc. Skilled in financial data analysis, reading financial sheets, with excellent knowledge of accounting and tax legislation.
Best for: Roles that require academic prestige. Ensure your accomplishments are highlighted from the get-go.
More than 10 years of experience in creating designs of any complexity, 2D and 3D graphics for games, applications, and websites.
Awareness of current graphic and design trends in the area of user interface, game development, and web design. Attention to detail and ability to drive concept development beyond initial implementation.
What we like: The specificity of the experience and tools needed for the desired role makes this a compelling career objective.
Highly motivated and experienced sales engineer with 5+ years of experience developing innovative products and providing excellent customer service.
Seeking to leverage knowledge of engineering principles and project management techniques to exceed expectations as a sales engineer at ABC Company.
What we like: Showing passion for the job and your success in the desired role allows the hiring manager to glimpse your personality.
An enthusiastic individual seeking a mid-level position in a banking firm where I can use my negotiation and communication skills to achieve sales targets. An MBA in finance from ABC University.
Best for: A role that requires a certain education level — be sure to highlight it in a sentence of its own.
Focused, confident, and committed associate lawyer. Interested in working with a major law firm committed to helping the aggrieved party (both individual and companies) by optimizing knowledge and rules of the Indian legal system.
Pro tip: Highlight why that exact firm is a fit for you and you are a fit for them, being as specific as possible.
Supply Chain Analyst
Deadline-driven warehouse manager with five years of experience. Proven track record in maintaining ideal inventory levels and managing capital and expense budgets at different distribution warehouses. Looking for a similar job role in a reputed logistics company.
Pro tip: If you have years of experience in your field, highlight this information in your objective.
Diligent graduate with a B.A. in business management from University ABC seeking to provide excellent client services at ABC Inc. as an account manager.
Strong communication skills from my job as a sales manager at Company ABC. Outstanding project management skills, having worked on over a dozen business projects in university.
What we like: Giving a quantifiable number of projects makes it more impactful.
Experienced personal assistant aiming to elevate my career to the position of executive assistant. Supported four entrepreneurs with organizing their work by setting up meetings, booking flights and hotels, and writing reports.
Hoping to leverage organizational skills to help ABC Corp introduce time-saving schemes for all executives.
What we like: The applicant is concrete and straightforward, matching the desired skills for the role.
Crafting the Perfect Career Objective
Now, you’re ready to write a career objective that showcases your skills.
If you follow the steps above, keep it original, and reference the job description, your objective statement is likely to wow hiring managers — and help you move on to the next stage in the hiring process.