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Starting your resume with an objective might be the added touch that compels a recruiter or hiring manager to spend an extra minute or two carefully reading your resume. Review sample objectives to get an idea of the kind of information that readers appreciate when they're looking for the ideal job applicant. The mechanics of a well-written resume objective include length, format, style, tone and, importantly, placement.
Your name, title or credentials and contact information should be the header -- front and center -- on your resume. The appropriate placement for a resume objective is below the header. The reader's attention should naturally flow from who you are to what a prospective employer will gain from considering you as a candidate for the job. Together, your header and objective should cover less than one-fifth of the page. Any more than that will make your resume resemble an essay, when all you need is a short, introductory paragraph that piques the reader's interest in your qualifications.
Stick to a Professional Look
Although you want to bring attention to your resume, do it properly and without too much flourish in your objective statement. For example, avoid using a bold font that you might believe makes your objective jump off the page. The Undercover Recruiter website recommends the Times New Roman font -- it's commonly used and is easy to read. If there is such a thing as too much attention where resumes are concerned, bold font and upper case can bring too much of the wrong kind of attention to your resume. Just like all caps in cyber-speak is the equivalent of shouting, be mindful of decorum and appearance for your objective and overall resume. Capture the reader's attention by using the right keywords for the job -- not by creating a resume objective that's hard on the eyes.
To conserve space on your resume, it's acceptable to use fragmented sentences in your objective. Limit the use of articles such as "the," "an" and "a," and never use pronouns. Instead of writing, "An enthusiastic, accomplished and motivated professional, I possess the qualifications that global organizations value in their business development staff," write, "Enthusiastic, motivated business development executive, seeking a leadership role with an organization envisioning global markets." Fill your resume with meaningful and useful information for the reader, rather than words that just take up space and rob your resume of objectivity.
Watch Your Tone
Achieving the proper tone for a resume objective is akin to walking a tightrope. You want to come across as a confident, self-assured applicant who wants an interview for the opportunity to sell the hiring manager on your qualifications. On the other hand, you don't want to appear braggadocios or cocky. An article on the TechRepublic website describes a well-written resume objective as declarative. Keep your objective succinct and direct; avoid adjective-laden paragraphs that suggest you're capable of walking on water.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.