How to Write Objectives on Resumes: College Student's Guide to Making a Great First Impression

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What’s the Purpose of the Objectives Section?

The objectives on resumes college students hand in are especially important. For entry-level jobs where candidates’ experience may be limited, your attitude and overall outlook on the job opportunity may be the most important part of your resume. If the qualifications are simply to be enrolled in or just graduated from college, you’ll be matched by dozens or even hundreds or individuals who are just as qualified as you. Take advantage of your objectives section to set yourself apart from the crowd in the first few lines of your resume.

Where Does the Objectives Section Go?

Your objectives section is usually placed at the top of your resume. The only thing above the objectives should be your contact information. The reason? This section offers you a great chance to set yourself apart from the other job candidates. With your objectives section placed firmly at the top of your paper, it will be the first thing the employer reads and your first chance at making a great impression.

What Should I Write as My Objectives?

Use your objectives section to focus on the potential employer, not on yourself. If your objectives section simply states that you want “to exercise my skills, build my resume and gain experience that will help me in future career opportunities,” you are missing the point of this section. When people write the objectives on resumes, college students especially, it’s a chance to show the employer what you can bring to the table. You should convince the employer in that first sentence or two that you will be an excellent asset to their team.

Be concise in your objectives section. You should also avoid being vague or using the word “I” since it shows a focus on your personal gain rather than what you can contribute to the company. There are two formats generally used for the objectives on resumes college students use. The first is to list what you want to do to help the company using your specific skills. The second is to list how your qualifications match the job at hand. Take a look at the following examples to get an idea of what your objectives section might contain:

  • “To use my skills as a talented communications specialist to improve customer satisfaction, streamline communications and work with advanced technological software”
  • “MBA graduate pursuing a challenging position as a marketing team coordinator in the food services industry”
  • “Outgoing and talented office manager with experience working in a non-profit environment”

A Final Tip

For many people, the objectives section is the one area of their resume that they use to tailor their application to a specific employer. Since most people keep a digital copy of their resume on their computer, it’s easy to keep multiple versions or your resume, or to save a new version every time you apply to a job. Your work experience and educational background won’t change; however, you can adjust your objectives section to a particular position for which you are applying. The objectives on resumes college students create can be make or break section of the final product, so have a career counselor or a working professional read it over and give you some feedback.