All information on a resume should be easy to understand and relevant to the individual, as well as the job opportunity. A career objective provides the hiring manager with a focused overview regarding an individual's skills and how they pertain to the desired job. A career objective focuses a resume and should be customized for each job application.
Career objectives are a paragraph of succinct information on a resume and are typically located after the individual's name and contact information. The career objective is specific and informs an employer of what it is the candidate wants to do at that particular company. A career objective needs to be customized for each job, positioning the individual as a qualified candidate. The use of a career objective is a highly individual decision and not a mandatory resume requirement.
Career Objective Content
A career objective should always coincide with the job an individual applies for while reflecting the individual's relevant skills as well as new skills the job may provide. The information should not be too self-serving. For example an Information Technology (IT) career objective can showcase skills such as database development in FileMaker software, as well as the individual's desire to learn Oracle database software in order to help the company with all database functions.
The job level will also need to be considered when creating an IT career objective. An entry-level career objective may focus more on the individual's desire to be part of an organization and learn more skills, while a senior-level career objective would focus on how the individual's skills, abilities and experience can help the company reach goals and objectives.
An experienced career objective for an IT candidate could be, "Professional, experienced IT expert interested in database management, software coding and working on complex networking projects." An an entry-level IT career objective sample, in contrast, might state, "Interested in IT training program with emphasis on system networking and data storage. Seeking an entry-level position in IT support, database development or networking systems."
Career objectives tend to use key words to describe a candidate. These words include desire, interest, seeking and wish. Examples of key words in an IT career objective might be "desire a position as a systems analyst," "interested in using my database knowledge," "seeking a position using my quantitative and mathematical skills," or "wish to begin a career as a support specialist."
A resume career objective is optional and is better left off the resume if it is not customized for each job application. An invalid career objective on a resume can damage the candidate's credibility and is considered unprofessional. A career objective does help an employer determine information about a candidate in seconds, while showcasing focused skills and abilities. The same resume content can be used for several jobs with the only difference being the customized objective section.
Unfocused or poorly written career objectives can hurt a candidate. A career fair can be a great place to meet several potential employers, but it will be impossible to tailor a career objective. In this type of situation, removing the career objective from the resume will be necessary.
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