When applying for a job, your resume provides the first impression to potential employers. Everything matters, from your experiences to the content included to the way it actually looks. As a college student, you may be applying for your first real job. Therefore, making a great impression with your resume is very important.

You may also be applying for an internship to expand your experiences and build your skill set. Writing a resume objective for either permanent jobs or temporary internships is important to your success. A well-written objective should also guide you as the job seeker to apply for the best jobs or internships that match your skills.

No matter what type of position you are seeking, a well-written resume with a good resume objective will certainly help you get closer to your goal. Resume objectives for students in college should be clearly stated, should be based on your long-range goal and should serve as a guide for the best-fitting jobs.

What Makes a Good Resume

A good resume objective clearly states what the job seeker is looking for. The information that follows after the objective should support the objective and illustrate why you are the best candidate.

The information that follows the resume objective shows your experiences, your area of study and any important licensures or specialized training. Supporting information should include your education history, areas of expertise and job or internship experience. These are typically organized by subheadings and are listed with the most recent at the very top.

What Makes a Good Resume Objective

A resume objective, also known as a career objective, should not only tell future employers about you and your experiences, but it should also help highlight the areas in which you stand out. A career objective for college students should definitely put a spotlight on strengths and areas of expertise.

A good resume objective for students in college should work as a guide for job applications. A well-written resume objective can help college students focus on the jobs best suited to their qualifications. Applying for a job that doesn't match up with your skills will likely end with a rejection.

Goals vs. Objectives

When writing resume objectives, it is important to understand what an objective is and how it relates to your overall goals. The two words goal and objective may mistakenly be used interchangeably, but it is important to understand that while they are connected, they actually mean very different things. It is important to understand that the goal will guide you in the long term, while the objective will help with immediate next steps.

Goals

A goal is a broad, primary outcome. Some may think of goals as long term or an overarching measure of success. A goal is something that you want to accomplish or achieve at some point in your life. A good way to think of a goal is as a destination. An example of a goal is: To become a leader in the field of finance and lending.

Objectives

If a goal is what you want to accomplish or achieve at some point in your life, then an objective states the actions needed in order to get to your goal. Objectives are usually time bound and are actionable, meaning that they are specific steps or events that will happen. In this case, the resume objective is likely going to be a specific job. For college students, it’s likely going to be their first job.

Resume Objective Examples

The resume objective, also known as a career objective, is the specific, measurable action needed to accomplish your goal. Often, it is time specific and immediately actionable. An example of an objective is: To obtain a position in mortgage sales in which I can apply the knowledge and skills learned as a finance major.

The objective is written in a way in which it can be accomplished relatively quickly. If your goal is to eventually become a leader in the field of finance, that clearly will take time, experience and growth within the profession. However, if your objective is to land your first job as a home mortgage lender, then that is something that can happen now.

Resume Objectives for Students in College

Your resume should be written in a way that makes a great first impression. Keep in mind that applicants are either called in for an interview or not, simply based on the resume. A well-written resume can be your ticket to landing an interview. Your resume objective should be clear to the hiring agency and also help guide you as a job seeker.

Well-written resume objectives, especially for first-time job seekers, should help you decide which companies and jobs to consider applying to. Resume objectives for students in college should be written so that it serves as a guide. If your objective is to obtain a position in mortgage sales, then all applications should be sent to mortgage lending companies instead of investment brokers.

It may be tempting for a college student to send resumes to any and all finance-related jobs, but having a well-written career objective will keep you focused. If your education and experiences are aligned with the job opportunity, the chances are greater that you will stand out as a viable candidate.

How To Write an Effective Objective

When crafting an objective for a resume, it is important to start with your long-term goal. Write your goal from a global perspective, meaning that it is broad and not time bound. Next, list all the steps, or jobs in this case, that you will need to experience to meet your long-range goal. Finally, select one of the steps and formulate that into the measurable objective.

Your resume objective is in many ways your introduction. Therefore, it needs to briefly state what you are looking for and what education and/or expertise makes you the right candidate for the position. Consider the following guidelines when writing your resume objective:

  • Be thorough but brief. The body of your resume will fill in and expand upon the statement.

  • Open with your highlights, and don’t be afraid to brag about the things that make you stand out. It's OK to shine!

  • Ensure that the objective is aligned with the position for which you are applying. Include any education, experience or licensure that is aligned with the job.

  • Briefly include something personal about yourself and how you will make a positive impact as an employee.

Who Needs a Resume Objective?

The truth is that not everyone in the job market needs a resume or career objective. For example, someone with years of experience and expertise in a particular field may not need to include a resume objective if she is simply changing jobs within the same field.

However, in the following situations, you should always include a resume objective:

  • You are new to the job market (new graduates).
  • You are making a career change (moving into a new field).
  • You are new to the geographic area (you recently moved).

Including an objective in your resume rarely will hurt you. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to keep it as long as you are seeking employment. A well-structured resume objective can better align you with the available jobs. Additionally, it can keep your job search on the right track.

Resume Objectives for Internships

If you are a current college student and seeking to participate in an internship within your field, you will also want to include a resume objective. An internship is an excellent way for college students to learn additional skills that can be applied in future job settings. Additionally, internships can help you make personal connections within the field and even narrow down the types of jobs that are best suited for you.

When writing a resume objective for an internship, much of the same criteria will apply as for a typical job resume objective. When writing a resume objective for an internship, you will want to be brief, highlight your strengths and relate why you are the ideal candidate. An example of a resume objective for an internship is: To obtain a training internship position at XYZ company in order to benefit from interaction and experience in the field of finance and home lending.

If available in your field of study, internships are a great way to grow your skill set. Employers often seek out job applicants who have had some level of internship experience. An internship can give you the opportunity to put into actual practice the skills and concepts you have learned in college, making you even more job ready.

Things to Keep in Mind

Whether you are seeking a position in an internship or your first full-time job, your resume is your first introduction to potential employers. A good resume objective for a job or internship will serve as a guide to employers about your specific education, expertise and skill set. Don’t hesitate to let your strengths shine!

Remember that goals are long term and encompass what you want to eventually accomplish. It may be where you want to end up several years down the road. While goals are global, objectives are actionable and time sensitive. An objective may be something you want to accomplish within the next three to six months.

More Than Your Resume

A good resume with a well-written objective can definitely increase your chances of getting your foot in the door. Objectives, along with the skills and education that are directly aligned with the job you are hoping to land, can definitely help get you closer to an interview. Ultimately, decisions are made based on personal interactions in combination with the education and skills you bring to the table.

You can't count on a resume to do all the work for you. What you say and how you interact during the interview is really what counts. Unfortunately, experience and skills can’t always make up for personality and the way you would fit within the workplace environment. Usually, both the employer and job seeker are looking for a good match.

Always Stay Positive

If you don’t land what you think is your dream job, don’t get discouraged. If the employer didn’t think you would be the right fit, it very well may be a good thing. It could turn out that you wouldn’t have been happy there anyway.

A well-written objective will also serve as a guide as you search for the right job. Let your resume objective help guide you to positions that are best suited for your own personal strengths and areas of expertise. Keep in mind that your personal interests, strengths and areas of expertise will help you apply to the best-suited jobs.

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