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How a career objective can help your job application stand out

07 March 2011

How a career objective can help your job application stand out

For high salary earners, having a career objective or some sort of statement that highlights to the reader what type/s of job opportunities you are interested in can be advantageous. It is very much the equivalent of the elevator pitch that can be used both in your application and when speaking with prospective employers.

Your career objective is a personal statement, which tells the reader what it is you are seeking from your career and how this in turn can be beneficial to them.

Research shows that the hiring professional will spend 30 to 60 seconds on each resume they receive, so it is important to ensure your application catches their eye and that they can quickly ascertain why your application is relevant for the job in question.

The challenge for high salary earners is that you are more often than not working with a transactional, volume-based, matching recruitment process that is more designed for production line workers from the industrial age than those with a varied skill set and background from the information and conceptual age.

So it is likely that, particularly with bigger agencies and employers, your application is going through some sort of key word searching and matching technology to eliminate those resumes that don't have enough word matches.

Any good hiring professional knows that top talent cannot be readily matched, yet the majority continue to use this approach.

A way to combat this antiquated approach and give your application the chance of being viewed is to include a career objective, which gives them a clue as to why you have applied and should be considered (even if your resume is not a definite match according to their job spec).

In essence the career objective directs the reader's attention to what you want to be doing, and can be doing for their business. It provides a 'future focus' and changes the way your past roles are viewed.

Broadly speaking your career objective should:

1. Be personal - what is it you want to be doing?

2. Demonstrate your commitment to what you want to achieve.

3. Be action orientated - communicating to others what you can do for them, and the value you can add.

4. Be directional - focussing on your future.

5. Be specific - identifying facts or portraying information that conveys your message clearly to the reader.

Your career objective should include two to three sentences that explain the kind of role or opportunity you are looking for and what you can offer the prospective employer. It is future focused; highlighting the direction you are headed in.

Having a career objective in your resume or application letter is optional, though increasingly becoming more common. In most instances a well written career objective will give your resume more clarity, structure and impact.

The success of any pitch is to \"tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you've told them\".

Kelly has been specialising in the arena of Human Resource Management, Recruitment and Career Counselling for close to 12 years. Initially focusing on commercial recruitment, and later moving into corporate Human Resources and working with the likes of Ernst & Young and General Electric. In these roles Kelly was exposed to best practice HR and developed a true passion for Human Resources Management.



  • Ann Margulis

    Ann Margulis 7 years ago

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  • mrngorickets mrngorickets

    mrngorickets mrngorickets 9 years ago

    Hi,Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.Tks again and pls keep posting.Apart from that, you also can ref more resources at: Career objectivesBest rgs