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Answered 2015-05-27 22:44:26

A career objective (also known as: objective; job objective) is an introduction and orientation to the prospective employer as to why he/she is receiving your resume. Following your name, address, and contact information at the top, it serves as the lead-in to the body of the resume. It used to be a mandatory feature and was expected as part of a "proper" resume format. However, in recent years, its utility has fallen into question. Many employers are put off by poorly written job objectives or by the "cookie cutter" approach employed by many applicants. Hence, career objectives are considered boring, repetitive, lacking in originality, phony, irrelevant, and a waste of space. However, the advantages of a career objective, if well written, are as follows: 1. It introduces you. 2. Because it's usually the first piece of information the employer reads on the resume, it draws the interviewer's attention. 3. It orients the employer to the job type you are applying and it shows the employer that you know what you are looking for. 4. It can display your personality and potential. 5. It can put flesh on an otherwise slim resume. If poorly written, a career objective will work against you. The disadvantages are: 1. If you follow common examples in resume manuals and are giving cookie-cutter declarations, then you are lacking in originality. Your job objective becomes boring because the interviewer has read a thousand others just like yours. 2. Closely related to the above, you can come across as insincere and phony. 3. You can be too specific referring to the job desired, thereby eliminating you from consideration on alternative job possibilities. 4. Conversely, you can be too general and vague. 5. You can appear self-centered and selfish if all of your objective dwells on what you want and does not consider the employer's needs. 6. You become repetitive if you sent a cover letter (as you should) with the resume. You already stated what you wanted in the cover letter...didn't you? 7. You could look clueless as to what the employer does and what is involved working with that employer. An example: "...looking for fast-paced work..." and the employer is looking to fill a night-time desk position at a mortuary. 8. It wastes the space that could be devoted to listing your skills and work history. If you decide to use a career objective in your resume, make sure it is relevant to the employer and appropriate for the job. That is, it should relate to the firm its activities, and needs. You should know the type of business and position(s) for which you are applying. Once you have done your research, be brief, original, and reasonably specific--but not so specific as to eliminate other opportunities. Relate what is possible in your career progression in the short-term. However, keep in mind you must be realistic in the short-term goals you intend to achieve with the employer. When and where is the best time and place for a career objective? Include it in the resume when specifically asked for in the employer's advertisement. Otherwise, the cover letter is an excellent place to let the employer know why you want the job. Another good time is during the job interview. When you are asked if you have any questions or want to offer additional information. At that point, you can verbally slip in your objective. A career objective should be revised for each employer, concentrate on the employer you are addressing, and be true. Never use a canned response. If you are new to the workforce, recently out of school, or a returning homemaker with little or no outside job experience, then base your Objective on what you have learned.

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