There’s a battle going on in the job search realm.
Should candidates include a career objective on their resumes?
For some, it is a thing of the past, relegated in the same way as typewritten resumes or the biodata. Yet there are still those who see the value in these documents as a hiring tool for providing greater insights into an applicant’s skills and motivations.
Here’s what we do know: an effective career objective statement can be very powerful at helping you score a job.
It is especially helpful for new graduates, entry-level candidates with little to no work experience whose career plans may not be easily determined by their employment, as well as career switchers who are trying to get into new fields. It’s also a great way for you to sell yourself to hirers.
Take your time to create a winning resume objective and use the following samples as a guide to help you write more powerful and effective statements.
Ordinarily, career objective statements look like this:
“To work with a reputable organisation in the finance industry.”
“I am a passionate and hard-working new graduate currently looking for a full-time teaching position. I would like to apply the skills I’ve learned from the university to teach and educate young minds. Moreover, I would like to work with other professionals who share my passion, as well as to further improve my skills as a teacher, which will allow me to further contribute in the field of education.”
However, both samples are problematic, with one containing too little information and the other having too much.
Stacey Campbell, a career consultant at Wilfrid Laurier University, suggests the following template in writing a career objective statement that works:
Identify yourself (e.g. marketing graduate, marketing professional), seeking the position you are applying for (publishing assistant, senior SEO specialist) in order to select relevant knowledge/skills/experience and provide how you can contribute to the success of the company.
1. Identify yourself
Should you use adjectives to describe yourself? We’re always taught to be humble with our accomplishments, so what’s the right way to portray yourself to hirers? Sticking to adjectives that are relevant to the position you are applying for is the key. For example, if you are going after a Graphic Design position, it’s recommended that you should use descriptive words like “creative” or “innovative”.
Don’t forget to specify your current status or qualification – let hirers know whether you are a fresh IT graduate, an entry-level marketing professional or a licensed law professional.
e.g. “Google-certified Internet marketing professional writer with experience in content management…”
2. Indicate the role you are applying for
Let the reader know what job you are applying for, particularly if you are answering a job ad or even if you’re just trying out your luck.
It always pays to customise your resume objective – and your entire resume, for that matter – for every job you are applying for and the companies you are specifically targeting to join. However, when circumstances won’t allow you to do so (e.g. when applying through career fairs) then it’s fine to use a standard description.
e.g. “…seeking an administrative position…”
3. Include relevant skills or knowledge
The keyword here is “relevant”. Only mention those experiences that are transferable or can be applied to this new role you are applying for. Take a step back and review your past experiences to help you come up with something that can be used as a selling point. You may then list two or three relevant experiences and skills in your resume objective and reiterate them further under the Other Skills section of your resume.
e.g. “…utilize my background in event planning and marketing communications…”
4. Include how you can contribute to the success of the role or company
Here’s where you are expected to state how you can be a great addition to your future employer. It would help if you study the job ad and company profile and see what they are looking for. Think of it as a puzzle where you are the missing piece that they are looking for. You should be able to cite two or three reasons why you make an attractive hire for the company.
e.g. “…contribute to increase the company’s profits.”
It’s okay to try out several drafts or samples of your objective, just to make sure you’ve come up with something that gets you the job.
e.g. Diligent and passionate BS Community Development graduate seeking a position as a Community Affairs Officer with extensive experience in project management, with concentration in housing and industry-building initiatives.
Just take these formulas to heart and you’re on your way to getting your dream job.
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