Career objectives are increasingly becoming a standard part of any job application and, if produced correctly, can be an effective and impressive way to capture a prospective employer’s attention during the lengthy and somewhat repetitive hiring process.
Career objectives are most commonly included at the top of a hopeful employee’s CV and are the very first element of the document that is seen. Within an effective career objective should be a paragraph of roughly three sentences, first an introduction of the applicant that fluidly mentions their particular strengths, secondly a line explaining which role the applicant is looking to fill within the company and thirdly a sentence with emphasis on the applicant’s worthiness, reliability and what they can bring to this new employment role.
Whilst it is true that career objectives are more included now than they ever have been, it is also true that an exceedingly high percentage of prospective applicants misunderstand what the appropriate content for a successful career objective should be. An archetypal career objective should be concise, and should be in effect a short blurb that gives the author a chance to tell the hiring manager what abilities, knowledge and skills they possess that will provide the help for the subjected company to achieve its targets and goals. However, this approach is often rejected in favour of a more introverted paragraph by the author, with the few sentences turning in to a brief list of somewhat self-serving information and demands.
What a career objective should absolutely not be is a paragraph that lists what the prospective employee wishes to gain from the company, and how these gains will in turn benefit their own future career path. Employers are much less likely to be impressed by a candidate whom they feel is using their advertised role simply as a stepping stone position to eventually achieve a higher goal. This can be perceived as a lack of respect for the advertised role. In summary, an effective career objective works to show hiring managers how an applicant will fit in to and enhance the advertised working environment, not how the work environment would be glad and lucky to have the applicant for the brief time that it would take to move on to another, possibly more prominent position.
Overall, a solid, well thought out career objective can really make the difference when it comes to important hiring decisions. It is absolutely imperative that the author captures a sense of their work ethic and drive in a short passage, and this sense can then be reflected and expanded upon in the longer bullet points further down in a CV or resume. Hiring managers will very easily be able to see through those career objectives in which the author has simply compiled a set of pleasant but hollow sounding words to describe themselves, and that is why a sense of fluidity between an authentic and truthful career objective and a high quality CV are the key to presenting oneself in the best possible light.