What is a career goal on a resume?

A career goal, most commonly known as Resume targetis a two to four sentence self-introduction and statement of purpose that you put at the top of your resume.

Each sentence of a resume goal touches upon specific information about your professional background and skills. Together, these sentences express exactly why you are the best candidate for a particular job posting.

general example of a resume goal, nursing trial
Your career goal can generally be broken down into three short sentences.

Knowing how to write a good resume goal that will earn you the job is a skill, and like any skill, it takes time to master. We are here to teach you this skill.

After we’ve shown you how to write a resume goal, we’ll provide you with 30 examples of resume goals for different skill levels and industries.

Does my resume need a career goal?

No, your resume doesn’t need a career goal. However, your resume must begin with an introduction. And for many people, a career goal is the perfect opening for their résumé.

The three main groups of Job seekers The best ways to use a resume goal are:

  1. People with work experience who are really looking for a job in a specific company
  2. Youngest Graduates (with some or no experience)
  3. Inexperienced job seekers // students

If you fall into one of these groups, writing a specific goal on your résumé will help give an employer a clearer argument as to why, despite a lack of experience or skills, you are a good fit for the job.

How to write a career goal (with examples)

To write a good resume goal, first think about how your personal background (experience, skills, education, and interests) makes you best suited for the role. Why would this company hire you for this job posting? What makes you better than other applicants?

The goal of your resume shouldn’t just be about why you want the job. Instead, your goal should show how best to use your skills, knowledge, and experience to help the company achieve its goals.

How to write a general resume goal if you 1.) have work experience, 2.) have a degree (with little or no experience), or 3.) are an inexperienced job seeker or student:

1. If you have relevant work experience

If you have two or more years of work experience related to the job you’re interested in, write your resume goal using this structure:

      • First sentence: # Years of relevant work experience as well as 2-4 examples of your main tasks in these years
      • Second sentence: Your degree and your qualifications (associated licenses or certificates)
      • Third sentence: How your skills, qualities and qualifications make you a strong candidate for the job

Continue the objective example (with experience)

Here is an example of a professional customer service resume goal:

Customer service representative with over 6 years of experience in phone and in-person sales, hotel bookings and account management. Have a BA in Communication and a SalesForce Certification. With the aim of using my proven skills in customer service, sales and communication to effectively fill the leadership role in your company.

This career goal successfully (and quickly) leads to the argument that the candidate would take a leadership role by showing their relevant experience and skills at the top of their resume.

In addition, the candidate mentions his “proven” skills as he plans to go into these further in his work experience section. It’s okay to make such statements about yourself if you can back them up elsewhere in your application (like your cover letter).

2. If you have a recent college degree (little or no relevant experience)

To best highlight the professional skills you have improved as a student, break your objective resume statement into the following sentences:

      • First sentence: Your degree plus years of relevant experience (if any)
      • Second sentence: How you are diligent, reliable and geared towards achieving corporate goals
      • Third sentence: Your best demonstrable propertiesand the role in which you want to apply these properties

Example of a résumé goal (internship experience only)

Here is an example of a resume goal recently written by a college grad:

Most recent graduate with a BA in English Literature and six months of international internship experience. Dedicated employee who wants to help achieve (company name) goals and take on more responsibility as soon as possible. You would like to use the academic knowledge and professional experience you have acquired to effectively fill your position as an open office clerk.

The student who wrote this particular resume goal has internship experience. Because any type of relevant experience is valuable to employers, it should always be highlighted in the first sentence of an objective statement.

If you have no work experience or are writing a resume for an internship, you need to incorporate academic achievement into your goal to make it effective. Here are some resources to help you identify your academic excellence and whether it can be applied to your own resume goal:

3. If you are in high school or have no relevant experience

Unless you have work experience or a college degree, your resume goal must highlight general characteristics of your character, personality, and work ethic – every detail that highlights why you would be a good employee if hired.

Write an effective goal for your resume by breaking it down into these three sentences:

      • First sentence: Self-introduction where you mention your strongest (demonstrable) traits
      • Second sentence: How reliable you are and that you have business goals in mind
      • Third sentence: Which role would you like to occupy and which skills can you apply to this role?

Continue the objective rehearsal (no experience)

Here is an example of a career goal for a high school student’s résumé.

Hard-working student (3.5 / 4.0 GPA) with proven leadership and organizational skills and the smallest attention to detail. Dedicated team player you can rely on to achieve your goals (company name). I would like to use my skills to fill the internship role listed on your website.

This student claims to have leadership and organizational skills as main characteristics and then includes a high GPA.

Remember, these claims need to be proven later. Perhaps this student was an elected class official or helped organize school dances. Such information should be included elsewhere on a resume if indicated in the career goal.

Here is a quick list of school activities and their associated character traits to help generate some ideas for your own resume goal:

School activity Associated character traits
Student management: Leadership, management, organization
Sports: Team player, disciplined, strategic
Theatrical art: Public speaking, presentation skills, interpersonal skills
Various clubs: Committed, active, friendly, enthusiastic
Academics: Analytical, hardworking, quick to learn

30 Continue objective examples

Are you looking for objective examples of a successful job that you can use to derive ideas while writing your own ideas? Regardless of whether you need examples from experienced candidates, examples from graduates, or college / inexperienced objective examples, we provide 10 examples each below.

10 general objective examples of CVs (with experience)

The following 10 resume goal statements are examples of how to write a career goal when you have 2 years of experience in your job:

Related examples of resumes::

10 Example of objective statements on the résumé (graduates, little experience)

New to the workforce or applying for a job you have no experience in? These 10 sample resume goals offer ideas on how to write your own good opening statement and get off to a great start with a hiring manager.