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Professional or Career Objectives
Advantages of Including a Career Objective
Developing a functional career or professional objective for your resume provides several advantages:
- Developing a functional career or professional objective forces you to think about what you want -- the particular type of position or positions you'll seek, the specific skills or functions you wish to perform, the size or locations of companies you'll apply to.
- A natural part of refining a career objective is thinking about your strengths -- skills and abilities you have, functions you've performed in jobs or activities -- and where and how you'd like to put these strengths to work.
- Once you've developed your objective, that objective will help you focus the rest of the information you present in your resume.
- Readers use this objective to match their needs with yours.
Note: Some fields, especially very competitive ones, do not encourage professional objectives in resumes. Mass communications and journalism are two examples. If you're unsure whether or not you should include an objective, ask a professional in your department or in the workplace.
Strategies for Developing a Career Objective
- Career objectives should be stated as verb phrases rather than sentences. Carefully selected verbs will make you sound forceful and confident; a sentence, which would inevitably start with "I," would simply sound "I-centered."
- Create a clear, concise career objective that is focused on prospective employer's needs. Omit "I-centered" or obvious statements, such as "where I can learn" or "which will enable me to advance." Prospective employers expect you to want to learn and advance. Boldly saying so simply starts your resume off with a "gimme" perspective and emphasizes not what you can offer but what you expect to gain. Notice the difference between the following two objectives, the first which is "I-centered" and the second which focuses on prospective employer's needs.
A summer internship in the public relations field that could develop into a full-time position as a public relations specialist beginning this fall.
A position as an interior designer, using design concepts while completing projects that will further the firm's goals.
- Your objective should be as concrete as you can make it. Specify the position you'd like and perhaps the general atmosphere or geographical location you'd prefer.
A position as Economic Development Specialist with the St. Cloud Area Economic Development Partnership.
- If you're using a functional format to present your experience, you'll probably want to emphasize in your objective functions you'd like to perform.
A position in Production Supervision or in the support areas of Manufacturing with emphasis on material or quality control.
- If you're using a skills format to present your experience, you'll probably want to emphasize skills you can bring to the position you're seeking.
A position with a construction company which requires skills in field engineering, cost controlling, planning, scheduling, and estimating.
- If you're looking for a part-time, summer, or internship position, your objective should let readers know this.
A summer job in buying for a nationally expanding retailer of household goods.
A summer internship in financial accounting with a large, public accounting firm.
More Resume Tips
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This homepage was written by Judith Kilborn for the Write Place, St. Cloud State University and may be copied for educational purposes only. If you copy this document, please include our copyright notice and the name of the writer; if you revise it, please add your name to the list of writers.
Last update: 5 October 1999