When to Use an Objective Statement

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An objective statement tells an employer what your professional or personal goals are, and its goal is to explain to the hiring manager why you’ve sent them a resume. Experts have spent years debating the use of an objective statement during a job application. Some claim that the technique is outdated. Others claim it should be used in cover letters but not in resumes or that it should be used only in specific situations. Below you’ll find a few occasions on which you might want to consider using an objective statement.

1. When changing careers or beginning your career.

Most people with established careers imply through their qualifications and employment history why they are applying for a position. But if you’re jumping from one field to another or are just starting out, your qualifications may not convey to an employer why you’re interested in working for them.

2. When customizing your resume

Hiring managers like to know that you took the time to research their company and its needs before sending in your job application. An objective statement can show them that you have done the legwork if you reference it in your application materials.

3. In your cover letter

Objective statements fit very well in a cover letter’s second paragraph. If you take the first paragraph to introduce yourself to the employer as a strong candidate, it follows logically to then explain to them what you’re looking for and why you think you’ll find it working for them.

You may also want to consider abandoning the objective statement in favor of a newer idea: the branding statement. A branding statement accomplishes the same goals as the objective statement but focuses on how you can create value for an employer rather than what you want from them. Good branding statements are short and concise, highlight your professional passions and accomplishments, and differentiate you from other applicants.

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