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Brief Statements of Career Goals: What to Include

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 10/1/2010

By definition, brief statements of career goals should be concise, but with so much to say about yourself, how you choose the things that are most important? Learn what to include in your statements of career goals and what you should leave out.

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    Starting Out

    As you begin preparing brief statements of career goals, ask yourself some sensible questions that will help you focus.Main careers 

    • What do you want to be doing in five years? Answer this question how you see fit, but when you actually prepare your brief statement, focus on your career, not your other personal objectives.
    • How much income do you want to be earning at the end of the next five years? Be realistic in your assessment. If you want to be earning millions or billions of dollars, you will need to take more drastic action than if you want to earn $50,000.
    • Define your pathway to your occupational and income goals. How will you get there? If you don't get some direction in your life, you will find it hard to hit your targets. What skills do you need? What in your life has to change?

    Now that you have some thoughts written down that are relevant, you can begin composing your career goals. Now consider what in include when composing your statements.

    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/EPConnects

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    Some Things to Include

    Emphasize Your Strengths. Evaluate your strengths and list them. You don't have to limit yourself to work related strengths either: look at your character and other personal strengths that people tend to value. Now that you understand your strengths, explain how you wish to build on them to reach your career goals.

    Explain your need to change. Some career goals require you to focus on the need to change. For example, if you are in sales, but aspire to be in executive management, you may need to change your position within the company or move to another company that has a role that you can build on to reorient your career.

    Expand your skills. When formulating your career goals, you may want to include the skills you intend to develop (or are developing) while continuing in your current position. The education and training goals required to achieve your aspirations should be included because of their relevance.

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    Other Considerations

    Whether your brief statements of career goals are for college or graduate school admission or for business purposes, you should follow the same general guidelines. By keeping your content relevant and concise as outlined above you will develop powerful statements that will impress readers with your intense purpose in life. Here are a few other pointers that may help you decide what to include in your statements of career goals.

    Cover all the requirements. Some schools or businesses have specific questions they want you to answer in your statements. Don't overlook these. If you include all the wonderful information already discussed, but leave out the most important answers, your list of career goals may not be successful.

    Don't be boring. If you're gunning for admission to a competitive school or committee, the last thing you want to do is present dry facts. Make your statements stand out by making it a story. By making it unique and memorable, your statement will be a success.

    Focus on your opening. With a strong beginning, you will grab attention and build the momentum you need to get your audience through your entire statement. Bore them in the opening and you will lose.

    Be smart. Your career goals list is not where you need to air out dirty laundry or expose political or religious beliefs. Save those things for your personal life. This is your career and your future: don't shoot yourself in the foot.