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Career Goals & Objectives for Healthcare Professions

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If you're looking for work in health care, defining your career objective is important if you're aiming for a specific position. While the health care sector boasts a surplus of jobs for the well-qualified, securing the ideal position requires demonstration of initiative and self-awareness. To write a strong resume objective that shows your commitment to professional development, think carefully about how your strengths and interests align with the advertised job opening.

Think About Your Current Expertise

A career objective should be one sentence that you can place at the top of your resume that concisely describes who you are and what you're looking for. Health care professions, including doctor, nurse, physical therapist, pharmacist and others are wide-ranging fields with areas of specialty. Even recent graduates enter the job market with work placements, residency experiences and clinical practicums that have developed their skills more in certain areas than in others. Think about your overall strengths as a clinical practitioner, how they make you a more fitting candidate, and start your career objective by stating the expertise most relevant to the position you want.

For example, includes a number of sample career objectives for nurses. For a nurse applying to a pediatric position, offers the following sample career objective: "To achieve a position as a registered nurse in a pediatric hospital where I can use my well-developed communication skills for family advocacy and collaborative practice." This applicant has work experience that developed her skills talking with families. While she might have experience in other areas, being able to work well with parents in high-stress situations is an important aspect of pediatric nursing. This applicant wisely focused her career objective on her ability to communicate effectively.

Think About Where You'd Like to Work

Knowing where you want to work not only helps you focus your job search, but helps you decide what major strengths you should focus on in your career objective. If you're switching from one area of specialty to another, consider how the skills developed in past positions transfer to your new area of interest. For example, a physiotherapist who works at a community health center would have to develop exercise and rehabilitation programs. If he decides he wants to move from the community health setting to a position with a sports medicine clinic, his years developing adaptive and rehabilitative exercise regimens would relate directly to the responsibilities of the job he wants.

Explicitly state the kind of work you're looking for near the beginning of your career objective statement.

Consider What You Want to Learn

A job is about getting a paycheck, while a career should focus on professional growth and development as you make a living. All employers want to hire employees who are ambitious and willing to learn, but a positive attitude toward lifelong learning is even more important in health care, where treatments and methods are constantly evolving. Close your career objective with the skills you want to learn, develop and improve. Ask yourself what you could gain from the position you're applying for, and make those opportunities your long-term learning goals. For example, Susan Jeffrey, past president of the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians, suggests that job applicants express interest in specializing in the organization's area of expertise. A pharmacy technician applying to work in a retirement home might say that he wants to learn more about pharmacy work in a geriatric setting, through both hands-on work and any continuing education opportunities offered.


A professional writer since 2006, Colleen Reinhart has held positions in technical writing and marketing. She also writes lifestyle, health and business articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Business degree from the University of Waterloo, and a Master's degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Toronto.

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