Applying for a new job is entering a competition. That competition is between you and every other person who is applying for the same position. The better and more popular the job, the greater the competition; the greater the competition, the tougher it gets to become selected. It can be a harsh and demoralizing world for the job seeker, so he or she has to do everything possible, at every stage, to increase the chances of selection.
The first impression the potential employer will have of the applicant usually comes from the resume (or curriculum vitae in some parts of the world). The resume is, therefore, at the sharp end of job success; the resume represents you before you have the chance to represent yourself personally. If there are many applicants, if your resume lets you down, that is the end of the road on that particular job journey. You need a resume that gets you noticed, and makes an instant impression as the personnel manager, or team, goes through tens or hundreds of applications for a vacant post.
When preparing a resume, it is important to set yourself apart from the crowd. One of the ways to get noticed as a serious applicant is to have well thought out career objectives in the resume. However, to be effective, career objectives included in a resume have to be very precise, and that may not be in the interests of the applicant if their inclusion rules out job possibilities in the organisation which may have been suitable. Before including resume objectives, you do need to consider if they really will help you get the job you really need.
One of the positive attractions of resume objectives is that they show you have thought about where you want your career to go. This may be especially important for new graduates, who have not had a job before, or those who are changing career. If, on the other hand, you are applying for a new job as part of an already existing career progression, then it may make more of an impact to put emphasis on your already existing skills and experience, which could be of more interest to the potential employer.
Assuming that you decide a career objective is essential to your resume, what should that objective include? The answer to that is: very little. The objective should be very precise, a simple statement of where your career goal lies. It is likely to be a particular job position, which is why objectives in a resume can be too restrictive. If the employer has several positions in the organisation or company which may suit your background, education, experience and skills, you could miss out on those options.
To help you decide whether or not to include resume objectives, find out as much as possible about the employers organisation, and the opportunities that might be available. If there really is one possible route to success for you with that employer, then maybe the inclusion of a succinct career objective will be worthwhile. If you cannot find out such detail about potential opportunities with that employer, then it may be beneficial to omit the objectives, and concentrate on a powerful presentation of your skills, achievements, and training.
Always remember, that the first paragraph or two will have to make an impact to stop your resume being discarded at the first sift. You have to decide which is the best way to do that for each job application, as every one may need a slightly different approach.