Monday, May 11, 2009

Writing the Objective Statement for Your Resume

Writing objective statements can be one of the most challenging parts of creating an effective resume. Below you'll find some strategies and options to help you make the most of yours.

What is an Objective Statement?

mmediately below the top section of a resume (containing your name, address, etc.), there is usually a short section with one of these headings: "objective," "professional objective," "resume capsule," or "career goals." Most often the objective statement includes 1-3 line of text, summarizing the position(s) you are applying for and/or your main qualifications. While some writers choose to use a sentence format, many objective statements are simply descriptive phrases with minimal punctuation.

Why Write an Objective Statement?

Objective statements improve your resume by helping you

  • emphasize your main qualifications and summarize them for readers

  • inform your readers of the position(s) you are seeking and your career goals

  • establish your professional

Tailoring for Your Audience

To improve your chances for success, it's always a good idea to tailor your objective statement (as well as your whole resume and cover letter) to particular organizations and/or positions. This means, for example, calling a position by the name the company uses to describe it. You might even indicate the organization's name in your statement. Strive to match your qualifications with those desired by the organization. If you are unsure what your resume's readers will be looking for, you'll need to do some research to give your objective statement a competitive edge.

Questions to Ask

Before drafting or revising your objective statement, you will find it helpful to answer as many of the following questions as possible.

About You

About the Company or Organization

What are your main qualifications (strengths, skills, areas of expertise)

Which of your qualifications are most desired by your resume's readers?

What positions (or range of positions) do you seek?

What position titles (or range or positions) are available?

What are your professional goals?

What are some goals of the organizations that interest you?

What type of organization or work setting are you interested in?

What types of organizations or work settings are now hiring?

Being Specific

The most common mistake made in writing objective statements is being too general and vague in describing either the position desired or your qualifications. For example, some objective statements read like this:

An internship allowing me to utilize my knowledge and expertise in different areas.

Such an objective statement raises more questions than it answers: What kind of internship? What knowledge? What kinds of expertise? Which areas? Be as specific as possible in your objective statement to help your readers see what you have to offer "at a glance."

Common Approaches

If you know or want to emphasize...

You might experiment with one or more of these formats...


a specific position (or two) and your main relevant qualifications

A position as a [name or type of position] allowing me to use my [qualifications]

To utilize my [qualifications] as a [position title]

A position as a Support Specialist allowing me to use my skills in the fields of computer science and management information systems

the field or type of organization you want to work in

and your professional goal

or your main qualifications

An opportunity to [professional goal] in a[type of organization, work environment, or field]

To enter [type of organization, work environment, or field] allowing me to use my [qualifications]

An opportunity to obtain a loan officer position, with eventual advancement to vice president for lending services, in a growth-oriented bank

To join an aircraft research team allowing me to apply my knowledge of avionics and aircraft electrical systems

your professional or career goal

or an organizational goal

To [professional goal]

An opportunity to [professional goal]

To help children and families in troubled situations by utilizing my child protection services background

a specific position desired

[position name]

Technical writer specializing in user documentati

  • Some Variations to Try

  • Integrate key words and phrases used in the job advertisement(s)

  • Play with word choices to fit your strengths and your readers' expectations. You might try

    • substituting for "use" words like "develop," "apply," or "employ," etc.

    • replacing "allowing me" with "requiring" or "giving me the opportunity," etc.

    • changing "enter" to "join," "pursue," "obtain," "become a member," "contribute," etc.

  • Blend two or more of the above generic models or create your own!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Resume writing Tips

Resume writing is a combination of art and science. Although every one of us can write our resume, only professionals trained in resume writing can provide the final touch of perfection to it. Resume writers have an eye for detail and can maximize your background and abilities. The structure, tone and presentation of the data must be both informative and eye-catching. This is why the success rates

Your resume is you! It presents an image of you to the employer. Consider what image you want to project. A resume is a personal statement and should reflect your style, and, as such, will differ from any other person’s resume.


A well-constructed resume requires that background work be done before you begin writing. You cannot properly bring your credentials to the attention of prospective employers without this preparation. Begin by taking a personal inventory. Examine and define your skills, interests, accomplishments and experiences. You must also know the range of positions for which you are qualified, and the interest you have in this kind of employment. You need to identify employers for whom you would like to work and the qualifications required for entry-level positions in those organizations.

Personal Inventory

Prepare a resume that presents your skills, experiences and accomplishments to an employer. Begin by listing your career-related skills. These skills might include:

  • Communication
  • Management
  • Technical
  • Sales
  • Problem-solving
  • Creative
  • Speaking
  • Interpersonal/
  • Human Relations
  • Organizational
  • Numerical ability
  • Mechanical ability
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Analytical
  • Data/Information

Identify courses and other experiences that are related to the career field you would like to enter.

Until you have taken a personal inventory of skills, it will be difficult to effectively present a well-constructed resume. When you have completed your inventory, evaluated your personal characteristics as realistically as possible, and established your career objective, you are ready to begin writing your resume.

However, if you still feel unsure of how your background can relate to a career, attend a Resume Writing Workshop offered by the Career Planning & Placement Center or make an appointment with a Counselor for a skills assessment.

Gathering Career Information

After you have completed your personal inventory and have developed your career goals, you will then want to research these career areas and those employers that are active in them. For each potential position you need to know the qualifications, duties, and skills required for the job, and any special talents or personal characteristics sought by the employer.

Writing Your Resume

An effective resume incorporates action words, action phrases and action statements which communicate “accomplishment-oriented” information. A good resume conveys a sense of participation and involvement. Here are some action words you can use in your resume:

A resume should be lively and secure the attention of the reader. Use short phrases, be direct and not too technical. Check through job announcements and use some of the same words and terms in your resume that are used in the field of employment you hope to enter.

Organizing Your Resume

Identification — Your name, address and telephone number head the resume. It is centered at the top of the page or placed to one side. Do not use headings such as “name,” “telephone,” “resume.” This information is self-evident and the headings are unnecessary.

Career Objective — If you state a career objective, it should be brief, concise and address the current job only, not future career plans. This category should be used only when your job objective is clear or definite. You may state your job objective in the cover letter rather than in your resume. If so, your resume can be more general and versatile.

Education — Your educational history should be placed near or at the top of the page if it is your most important qualification. Under this heading include the names of schools, dates attended, degrees and dates received, and major and minor fields of study. Internships or practicum experiences can also be included here. Limit the number of schools listed to three. More than that number will suggest that you were school hopping, and the employer may infer that you will go job hopping as well. You may also list relevant course work to give the employer a clearer sense of your job-related skills.

Work Experience — This area can be titled “Work Experience,” “Employment,” “Employment History” or “Professional Experience.” This category can include volunteer, intern or practicum experiences. You may include names of employers, dates, job titles and functions or experiences and accomplishments. Include part-time jobs held during your college years. In describing your work experience use positive words which will show your strengths. Leave out negative or neutral words. Descriptive job titles provide employers with information about what you did.

Professional Activities and Other Interests — This category can include such unrelated data as club and professional memberships, awards, honors, hobbies, internships, volunteer experience and community service. Such a catchall category can be used when there is not enough information in any one single area to warrant a separate heading.

Personal Data — Personal data includes date of birth, marital status, health, references to children, height or weight, etc. This is generally extraneous information and not essential to your resume. You may, however, want to include this type of information, if you believe it relates favorably to selection criteria for the position.

Skills and Accomplishments — These categories will be relevant to “combination” and “functional” resumes. You may describe your skills and accomplishments under such headings as “art experience,” “supervisory experience,” “management experience,” or “counseling skills.” Emphasize skills, especially those that are transferable.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sample Resume Format

Sample Resume Format

Your Name Here
9876 Home Street
Any City, State 12345
(123) 345-6789

OBJECTIVE - The type of position you are seeking, the type of organization you are seeking it in and the skills you want to use on the job.

SUMMARY - • Use this section to draw together common themes in your resume and/or to indicate a certain number of years evidencing a particular skill.
• This section is not necessary but can be used to mention special skills or attributes that don't fit neatly under one particular category.

EDUCATION - Bachelor of Arts Expected Date of Graduation
Concordia University, St. Paul, MN

EXPERIENCE - Position Title Date-Date
ABC Company, City, State
• Begin bullet statements with action verbs.
• Emphasize the skills that you developed not only the tasks that you preformed.
• Remember that you never use I, me, or my on your resume because they are assumed.
• When formatting your experience think about which is more important, your position title or the company you worked for.

Position Title Date-
Company Name , City, State
Another type of format is to type a paragraph of information describing your skills. This format, while still used, is not as popular as bulleted statements.

• Indicate any computer skills, especially related to your major or career field to which you are entering. Also, be sure to add your level of expertise. Mention that you attend a laptop university.

• Enter any language skills or other skills that would be useful to your major or career that are not mentioned elsewhere on your resume.


• Add any honors, awards or scholarships indicating dates when you received them.

• Include "Dean's List", if applicable but indicate the number of semesters.


• Add any student organizations that you have been involved in, the dates you have been involved in them and any leadership roles you have had in them.

• Example: Any Student Organization, 1998-Present: President, 2000-2001

REFERENCES - Available upon request. (It is no longer common to see this section on a resume. Use it only if you need to add length to your resume.

Resources -