One of the most overlooked components of any resume is the resume objective statement. This is the very first element you include after your name and your contact information, and it is one of the very first impressions you will make on the hiring manger on your resume. Indeed, past your name and contact information, it is your very first impression. You’ll probably iterate your resume objective statement at the start of your cover letter too—so that goes even if you are writing a cover letter. What is a resume objective statement, and how do you write one? What elements does it need to include?
A resume objective statement is one sentence that succinctly sums up the purpose of the resume. In short, you are telling the hiring manager that you want the job. This may seem like a silly hoop to jump through, but hiring managers do want you to say what you want. And there is sometimes a good reason for this. After all, if the hiring manager has more than one job opening posted, he or she may get confused about which position you’re applying for if you don’t take the time to put it down in the objective statement. This is where you clarify the position, along with information like part-time, fulltime, seasonal, or temporary.
A good resume statement will do more than just list a position you want. It will also say why you want and deserve the position. For example, let’s say you’re applying for a position as a part-time customer service representative at Company X. Then your objective statement would read something like this:
Objective: A part-time position as customer service representative at Company X, where my skills in communication and my background in retail can contribute to your customers’ satisfaction and the success of your company.
This is a good statement because it not only tells the hiring manager what position you are applying for, but also briefly why you are a suitable candidate. It furthermore goes on to say that you will contribute to the company and give something valuable to the customers—in other words, hiring you will serve the company’s interests and not just yours. Since hiring managers aren’t particularly concerned with your welfare and want their companies to excel, this is a sensible detail to put into your objective statement.
Even if you don’t make a lot of changes to the content of your resume from one application to another, make sure you include a unique objective statement at the beginning of each resume. This shows that you’re paying attention and putting in the extra effort to apply with a unique resume to each company. It also ensures that you list the proper position name and company title, so the hiring manager knows that the resume was intended for that job. You will get the hang of writing resume objective statements quickly after just a few resumes, and then they should be a breeze.