What Is a Career Objective? Definition and Examples
To increase the chances of getting an interview, you’ll need a compelling resume that includes a focused career objective. To ensure your resume gets the attention of hiring managers, it's important to focus your efforts on writing a clear, actionable career objective that concisely describes your skills and professional goals.
In this article, we describe what a career objective is, how to write one and provide examples for guidance.
What is a career objective?
A career objective is an optional component of resumes that briefly describes the skills, experience and abilities candidates offer. Typically, an applicant adds the career objective at the top of the resume, just below their name and contact information. A general guideline is to limit this to two or three sentences, or approximately two lines of text.
Because of the volume of resumes a hiring manager typically receives, they may only spend a few seconds on each. They scan from the top of the page down, so one of the first sections they’ll notice is the career objective. Think of this as your brief, 30-second elevator pitch to a hiring manager.
You should tailor your career objective to the position you’re applying to. One way to do this is by using language from the job posting you’re responding to. Search the job description for keywords you can add to your objective to help it stand out and make it more likely that the hiring manager will read the rest of your application materials.
How to create a career objective
Follow these steps to create an effective career objective:
1. Make it concise
Try to limit your objective to two or three sentences to ensure that the hiring manager can read it quickly. If you need to shorten your objective, you can remove words that take up space and add little value, such as “the,” “a” and “such as.”
2. Tailor it for each position
To quickly gain the attention of the recruiter, make sure your objective directly relates to them. Try adding related skills or software you know to help you stand out.
3. Include your strengths
Your career objective can help you stand out from other candidates. By including your personal strengths, you can show how you can perform the job better than anyone else. Mention some of your valuable skills, such as “critical thinker,” “problem solver” or “organized and dedicated.”
4. Mention relevant requirements
If the job has any educational or experience requirements, adding them to your resume objective can quickly show the recruiter you have the necessary qualifications. Add any degrees, certifications or licenses you have that relate to the role.
5. Explain your value
Employers seek candidates who can add unique value to the company. Toward the end of your objective, explain how you can contribute to the business if they hire you. Describe your dedication to your profession, experience or career path aspirations to show your value.
Career objective examples
Below, we’ve included examples of career objectives from several fields:
Customer-care-oriented, licensed RN with six years’ experience in fast-paced medical settings. Proven ability to stay calm. Looking to utilize medical background and drive to improve patient satisfaction by at least 20%.
Caseworker assistant objective example
Efficient, dedicated caseworker assistant with six-month clinical internships in local social work practice. Looking to utilize coursework and previous experience to improve outcomes for those recovering from substance abuse.
Enthusiastic CPA with MBA who just completed graduate studies. Experience preparing dozens of tax returns for major accounting firms over the past 18 months. Assisted in conducting audits during university internship; able to identify $7,000 in potential savings. Looking to utilize skills and experiences as an accountant with MT Financial.
Data entry clerk
Recent graduate of Urbana Community College with experience in all facets of Microsoft Office. Detail-oriented, exceptional oral and written communication skills and a drive to be successful. Interested in an opportunity to bring 85 words-per-minute typing speed to BGM Shipping and Receiving.
Enthusiastic server with six years of industry experience, including two years of management and hostess responsibilities. Able to assist with food preparation, catering and food truck service. Looking to bring a work ethic that earned “Employee of the Month” on multiple occasions to Mitchell’s Steakhouse and Seafood.
Certified project manager with a Master’s Degree in Construction Project Management. Over the past 11 years, consistently delivered construction projects on time and under budget. Searching for an opportunity to leverage proven ability to oversee all phases of building construction with Castille Construction Services.
Human resources specialist
Personable, driven human resources specialist looking to secure a role with KPM Public Schools. Previous experience as an intern with park service, which included helping conduct interviews with potential part-time personnel. Experience in onboarding new employees, as well as running fingerprinting and background checks. Seeking an opportunity to utilize these skills as a part-time HR Specialist Assistant.
Information technology support technician
Reliable, personable digital support technician with over 15 years’ experience seeking a management position in MS State University computer lab. Previous experience managing IT staff for a telecom company, improving customer satisfaction by 23% while reducing callbacks. Managed six-month IT project, upgrading area hotel’s network and data security.
Special education teacher
Proven and dedicated licensed special education teacher with ten years’ experience. Managed to meet over 50% of annual goals over a recent three-year period as well as encouraging 75% of students to score proficient on state reading exam. Looking to leverage data-driven instruction and commitment to the profession as a ninth and tenth grade special educator at Whetstone Local Schools.
Grocery store manager
Meticulous, proven store manager with 12 years’ experience managing grocery locations. Looking to implement online inventory database practices that have cut produce waste for previous employers. Strong interpersonal skills, love of food and track record of helping stores succeed.
Retail customer service representative
Dependable customer service representative with a long history of department store experience. Committed to resolving customer complaints, reducing turnaround time and proactively addressing complaints. Searching for a position to utilize previous experiences in creating customer email and voice message contact lists to improve client communication.