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

Though not always necessary, the right objective can be the difference between a phone that rings, and one that doesn't. 

The Resume Objective - When Should You Use A Resume Objective?

Resume objective statements... when should you use one? Former recruiter identifies 5 conditions when you should consider using a resume objective.

Judging by the title of this piece one might infer that an objective statement on a resume is not always necessary, or desirable. Both true. But sometimes, having the right objective on a resume can make a big difference in whether the resume gets The Resume Objective - First Impressionscanned, gets read, gets considered and ultimately, gets the hiring official to request an interview with a candidate.

When To Use An Objective On A Resume

There's an ongoing debate among career specialists and recruiters as to whether or not objectives are necessary, and if so, when they're necessary. Despite the back an forth, a few areas of consensus have emerged.

1) Use a Resume Objective If... you're submitting to a job board or job listing site (i.e. Monster, Craigslist, Hotjobs, etc.) or into an otherwise large pool of resumes. "General" resumes on these sites are easily lost in the deluge without that immediate focus provided by a clear objective statement.

2) Use a Resume Objective If... you are looking to change careers. Your work history likely pegs you as having skills in a certain discipline. If you're looking to change career directions, you need a resume objective to target that new career position and to lay the foundation for transitioning your old skills to new challenges.

3) Use a Resume Objective If... you are applying to a specific job. Use the position title in your objective. You can either stop with the bare-bones job title (i.e., Position as Billing Coordinator) or begin the process of defining your worth to the company (i.e., Position as Billing Coordinator requiring a highly effective communicator with a full range of office skills and a reputation for delivering results).

4) Use a Resume Objective If... you're a new graduate. You don't want an employer to have to guess what position you're interested in by rifling through your educational curriculum or divining a skill set you may have acquired through your part-time summer work at Chuck E. Cheese. Use an objective statement to target your first career step beyond school.

5) Use a Resume Objective If... your resume shows a background that is too diverse for an employer to easily divine what it is you're after, or what it is you're capable of doing.

Like many things in life, there is no black and white answer to the question of when to employ a resume objective. It depends on where you're coming from (your work history) and your intended audience.

Do keep in mind that the first few lines of a resume are prime real estate. Whether you lead with an objective statement or summary statement or both, give those first few lines the most attention.

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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