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What Does Objective Mean on a Job Application?

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While filling out an application, you might notice a spot for your objective. An objective on a job application isn’t much different than an objective on your resume. The employer is looking for a personal statement regarding your goals and how they correspond with working for their company in particular. Employers might read through hundreds of applications for a similar position, so your objective needs to stand out among the rest.

Include Specifics

Your resume might contain a broad objective, but employers are looking for a specific objective for their application. Incorporate the position title, company name and specifics that were listed on the job posting. For example, if you’re applying for a line cook position in a five-star restaurant, you might want to write something similar to “To obtain a position as a line cook in a five-star restaurant where I can use my culinary education.”

Be Unique in Your Approach

Remember that employers are looking at a few dozen or a few hundred applications for a single position. You need to stand out from the rest, so take a unique approach to your objective and treat it as if it were a branding statement. Research what skills are required for the position and state qualifications that match those requirements in your objective using at least one skill, but no more than three. For example, the posting may state the company is looking for multiple years of experience, a formal culinary education, and experience in a busy restaurant setting. So, you could state something similar to “A formally trained line cook with five years of experience, looking to work in an upscale, busy restaurant.”

Don’t Be Wordy

Your objective should contain the necessary details to showcase your skills and qualifications, but it doesn’t need to be long. One to two sentences are more than enough to show the employer why you want the job and why you’re the right candidate to fill the position. Adding too much fluff or writing a long paragraph takes away from the keywords the employer might be looking for – and with so many applications to review, the employer might be less inclined to read a long paragraph.

Spelling and Grammar Matter

Spelling and grammatical errors might turn off employers. Review your application carefully as you write your objective. If you’re filling out an application by hand, write it out on a separate piece of paper first and review it. If you’re filling it out online, copy and paste it into a word processing program to check the spelling.

Something to Consider

Filling in the objective is important, but if you cannot think of something to say, it might be best to leave it blank. An objective can have a powerful impact on the employer – negative or positive. Write your objective after you’ve filled out the entire application and draw from what you’ve listed in the application to create your objective.


Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.

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