Developing A Career Objective


The objective on a resume can be arranged to highlight the applicant's unique background or career plans.

At the simplest level, the career objective may be stated as a professional designation, followed by a specialty area in that field, e.g. Electrical Representative - Research and Design, Public Accountant - Auditing and Taxes, or Sales Representative - Industrial Hard goods and Equipment.

The next level of sophistication in a career objective is to state that you desire an entry-level position in a particular functional area of work, e.g. Entry-level Bank Management Trainee - Loans, Entry-level Store Management Trainee - Merchandising, or Social Service Trainee - Child Welfare.

Beyond these simple formats, the matter becomes more difficult. Here are some other ways to organize a career objective.

The Short-term/Long-term Format

Immediate Objective: Entry-level Accounting Trainee with an Industrial Firm.
Long-term Objective: Progression to Comptroller function, with responsibilities for a number of accounting systems and policy responsibility for fiscal affairs of a corporation.

The Functional Format

Functional Work Objective: Position that includes responsibilities for systems analysis and creating data systems for maintenance of records, evaluation of programs, and projection of future sales trends.

The Skills Format

Skills Objective: Position that requires knowledge of decision-making models, and application of models to marketing and production planning.

Functional/Industrial Format

Functional/Industrial Objective: General Sales Representative with company that produces soap, toiletry, or food products.

Skills/Industrial Format

Skills/Industrial Objective: Position that requires basic knowledge of COBOL, RPG II, and BASIC, and that requires sales/customer service abilities in the software industry.

When you use a functional or skills type of objective, the work experience section of the education section of your resume should reflect the abilities and wishes set forth in the career objective statement.

Career Objective statements should avoid terms like opportunity for advancement, a challenging position, a position dealing with people, a progressive company, a position that requires creativity, a company that recognizes..., a chance to... While these terms may sound nice to the job applicant, they have little meaning to the person who will make the decision to invite the applicant for an interview, and in fact, they may indicate that the applicant has no idea of his or her career objective. The job candidate who applies vagueness will get a vague response in return.

By Warren B. Rob, Director of Counseling, Testing, and Career Placement, University of Texas at Arlington. Revised.