A resume objective statement, while an optional section of your resume, can be a powerful tool for job seekers if it used to its full potential. Strong objectives indicate how you will be of value to the company in one clear and concise statement. It tells potential employers your purpose or goal by applying to their company, and indicates the direction you want your career to go.
The decision to include an objective is not one to be taken lightly, since a weak or ineffectual objective will detract from the entire resume. In fact, many recruiters feel it is better to exclude an objective entirely than to include a weak statement or one that is too generalized. As a rule, individuals who are applying for non-traditional positions such as internships or co-ops, those with limited professional work experience, and those who are seeking to break into a new career or field stand to benefit the most from the inclusion of an objective statement on their resumes. In these instances, the objective will allow employers to immediately identify the type of position you are seeking and clarify your intent and interest in the organization. However, if you are using your resume for a more general purpose such as a job fair, employment agency submission, or website job board posting, it does not make sense to include an objective that will limit your options. Other individuals will need to make a personal decision as to the value an objective statement will add to their resume.
If included, the objective appears at the top of your resume, right beneath your contact information. An objective will typically address one or more of the following areas:
1. The type of position desired – Are you seeking an internship, a part-time, or a full-time position? Is your goal an entry-level, experienced, or supervisory position?
2. The actual name or title of the position you desire – Are you applying for the Administrative Assistant or the Technical Services Manager opening?
3. Is there a specific environment, industry, or field that you are targeting?
4. Any skills you hope to utilize in a new position
Since the purpose of an objective is to direct employees as to your specific goals within their organization and indicate how you will add value, it may be necessary to tailor your objective to each individual position. Objectives that are vague and non-specific are useless, so if you are not able to identify a specific goal or value in your objective, do not include it on the resume.