Featured Career Resource: Do I need an objective statement for my resume?

By John Link

An objective is a concise, one sentence statement that communicates the type of experience or specific job you’re applying for and the strongest transferable skills that you have for the position. While an objective statement is optional, it may provide focus and direction for the content you’re including in the sections that follow.

It should go without mentioning, but each time you apply for a position, your objective statement should be customized with a specific employment or experience goal. The best reference you have for customizing your objective statement is the job description for the position you’re interested in. If the job description outlines a list of skill areas requested of a desired candidate, complete an inventory of the strongest skills you have for the position to include in your objective statement.

Think broadly about the skills that you will include in your objective statement, highlighting no more than four, with the intention to elaborate further in the experience section of your resume and body paragraph of your cover letter.


Skills to Highlight: teamwork, leadership and communication

Sample Objective Statement: Non-profit professional with over 5 years of leadership experience, seeking a position as a Project Manager with ABC Company using strong team-working and communication skills.

Skills to Highlight: detail-oriented, organization, written and verbal communication

Sample Objective Statement: To obtain the position of Project Manager at ABC Company using superb organizational, attention to detail and written communication skills.

For career shifters and first full-time job seekers with limited related experience, it’s important to focus on your strongest transferable skills in your objective statement. Universally, employers seek candidates who have a range of soft and technical skills including leadership, written and verbal communication, attention to details, organization and the ability to work as a team. That’s why it’s essential that you focus on any significant skills developed in co-curricular or employment experiences that you can focus on in a customized resume and cover letter. Setting the tone for your document using an optional objective statement will assist with communicating your strongest skill areas related to the position you’re applying for.

For additional resume writing assistance, please visit the Career Planning & Development Center’s eResources.


John Link is the Assistant Director in the Webster University Career Planning & Development Center.