How to Write a Good Resume Objective
The objective is an often-overlooked resume section. When it’s written well, it can characterize you as a good match for a job. But objectives that don’t follow best practices can detract from your application and appear unprofessional. Here’s what an objective is for, when you need one, and what it should include.
What is a resume objective?
A resume objective is a short statement of one or two sentences. It says what kind of job you want and highlights a few of your qualifications for that job.
Do you need an objective?
A resume objective is optional, and many people believe you don’t need one. Since it’s not a required field for a resume, you want to make sure the objective adds something that isn’t obvious from other parts of your application. If you can’t point to a compelling reason for writing an objective, you may want to leave it out or replace it with a summary.
That said, there are times when an objective tells the hiring manager something that your experience and qualifications don’t make clear. An example is when you’re applying to your dream position or to a company you have always wanted to work for. An objective can make the case that this is the perfect position for you. You can use it to say that you want this particular job, not just any job.
Another case when an objective is very useful is when you’re being pigeonholed for positions in a certain department and you want to break out of that pattern. Maybe most of your previous jobs have been in security, and every time you send a resume to a new hotel, they consider you only for security officer openings. If you really want to become an assistant operations manager, it makes sense to put that objective front and center.
What to include
Your objective should include a description of the type of role you want, and it should be as specific as possible. Don’t say “seeking a marketing position”; say “seeking a guest marketing specialist role at a full-service boutique hotel.” Make sure that this description matches the job you’re applying for.
Your objective should also briefly mention some skills or qualifications that make you a good fit for that role. This won’t be a comprehensive list of things you can do. The idea is just to connect two or three of your areas of expertise with the job you’re applying for.
What not to say in your objective
The objective should convince the hiring manager that you are a good fit for a position, but it shouldn’t be a wish list of everything you’re looking for in a job. Don’t mention the benefits or salary you want, and don’t list all the responsibilities you expect. Describe the type of job you want in a few short phrases; this description should sound like the title of a job posting. For example, say, “seeking a position as a domestic sales manager,” not “seeking a well-paid position where I can reach out to prospects and close sales.”
Any qualifications you list in the objective should be supported by other information in your resume. Don’t say that you want to use your customer service skills on the job if you’ve never worked in the front of house.
And finally, the objective shouldn’t cast doubt on your ability to do the job. Don’t bring up any deficiencies in your experience. For example, don’t say, “Even though I have never worked at the management level before, I’m seeking a position as a housekeeping manager.” Instead, say, “I’m seeking a position as a housekeeping manager in which I can apply my organizational skills and knowledge of housekeeping procedures.”