by former recruiter David Alan Carter
real-life examples of resume objectives  

The resume objective. It's front and center in a targeted resume.

Target A Specific Job In The Resume Objective

Our former recruiter explains why specific language rules in a resume objective ... and how to begin a campaign of targeted resumes.

The general objective statement has pretty much been relegated to the scrap heap of history, along with satellite phones and gas-guzzlers. In this tough economy, in the slow recovery after a jobs meltdown, everything has changed. There's no slop when it comes to recruiting – companies want candidates that fit perfectly with a specific job opening. Not candidates that maybe fit, or candidates that might grow The Resume Objective - Targeting A Specific Jobinto the position. Those days of charity are gone.

What does this mean for job seekers? It means you need to focus your resume – like a laser – toward the specific title of a specific job opening. And then build your resume in a way that demonstrates that your qualifications match those of the position in question. Exactly.

The Targeted Resume Rears Its Head

For those keeping up with trends, this is the latest incarnation of the long suffering resume - the targeted resume. If you're currently looking for work and your not building and submitting targeted resumes, expect a long wait until your next paycheck.

In A Targeted Resume, The Objective And Profile Sections Are Key

In a targeted resume, you'll need to quickly identify to the reader the job position you're seeking. If you've opted to include an objective statement (read The Resume Objective... When To Use One), this is where you tip your hand. Lift and paste the exact job title right into your objective. The title can stand alone as the objective statement, or you can craft a sentence that includes your key qualifications for that position (and benefits to the company).

If you opt not to include an objective statement, the title of the job opening needs to be front and center in the profile or summary section of the resume.

The Targeted Resume - A Quick Q&A

Question: Why is it necessary to be so specific?

Answer: In today's economy, a job opening posted on a company's website or an online job board will generate hundreds if not thousands of resume responses. For your resume to even stand a chance, it must first get through the filters and the screeners.

For example, a job opening for an Account Executive will be inundated with resumes containing either no objectives or objectives seeking positions in "Sales" or "Sales and Marketing." The candidates behind those resumes may be qualified for the position in question, but their resumes will likely be screened out early on. Facing an avalanche of resumes, the screener, be it human or software, will discount general and non existent objectives in favor of objectives specifying "Account Executive." It simply has to be this way, given the sheer volume of information coming at a company. 


Question: Doesn't this limit the use of this resume?

Answer: Yes, it does. This becomes a one-shot resume. Such is life in the modern world. Prepare yourself for a campaign that will necessarily demand a number of resumes, each tweaked and fine-tuned to target a specific job with a specific company. 


Question: Is there an easy way to do this?

Answer: Begin by crafting a "master" resume. This would be the document that contains anything and everything regarding your professional past. Don't worry about length – nobody will ever see this document. Instead, you'll use it as a base or foundation on which to launch each targeted resume.

For example, once you've found a job position that matches your qualifications, spin off a new version of your master resume and adjust the objective and profile sections to match the position. Pare down any extraneous information from your work history and education that isn't relevant for the job in question. And there's your targeted resume. Now repeat, repeat, repeat. 


Question: How do you keep track of it all? 

Answer: Clearly, you need a system. If you're starting from scratch, I'd recommend you consider one of the top two resume builders that we review on this site. Either of these two top products allows users to create as many resumes as they want, keep them all organized, and track submissions easily.


Whether you opt for one of these resume builders or go it alone with your computer, targeted resumes will get you closest to the goal to which every resume aspires - the phone call leading to the job interview. The rest, as they say, is up to you.

Where we go from here: To learn how to write that "right" resume objective, review our home page article, The Resume Objective - It's Not About You.

Want to see a real-life resume objective written for clients in your profession? Look for your profession or discipline (e.g. Sales Resume Objective) in the table of contents along the right hand margin of this page. 

Wondering which format will put your qualifications in the best light? Chronological or functional? OK - let's get into the nuts and bolts of The Resume Format.

David Alan Carter is a former headhunter and the founder of Resume One of Cincinnati. For more than ten years, he personally crafted thousands of resumes for clients from all occupational walks of life--entry level to executive. 

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