Career Advice » Career objective and career profile

Resume Introduction: Career Objective and Career Profile

Before you start listing your professional experience and education, introduce what kind of position you are seeking or what you can offer.

Career Objective
What kind of job do you want?
Career Profile
A five-liner highlighting your strengths and experience.

These are “either/or” options. You rarely add both you career objective and profile in a resume.

Career Objective

The objective states the job position you are seeking. It is often difficult to decide how broad or narrow your career objective should be. Look at the following examples:

Career Objective - Example 1

Seeking an administrative position in a forward-looking company.

Career Objective - Example 2

Seeking a senior administrative position in Finance with strong elements of communication, planning, and office management.

The first career objective is too broad and probably does not say much. The second objective is more specific, but it restricts your options. You may have to modify it so that it suits a particular job advert, although this is not advisable. However, if you are certain about your career goals, stick with specific career objectives!

If you apply for an advertised job post that is clearly stated in your cover letter, you can safely skip your career objective: you should know that it fulfils your objectives because you apply for the job.

It is common to state your career objective:

  • In a functional resume where you don’t list your experience in chronological order.
  • When you send a speculative resume to a company, online resume bank or employment agency and you want to make clear what kind of employment you are seeking.

Having said that, it is advisable to have a clear career objective in mind regardless of whether it is stated in your resume.

Career Profile

Career Profile - Example

Career Summary

Senior administrative assistant in banking and financial trading with 9 years of experience in performing and directing executive-level administrative affairs.

  • Exceptional communication, organizational, and reporting skills with proven ability to coordinate and provide administrative support functions for high-level business tasks.
  • Strong attention to detail while having the ability to manage several projects and calendars concurrently.
  • Often proposed and used IT technology to improve processes and reduce office costs.
  • Excellent supervisory and “on the job” training skills; currently leading a team of two.

A career profile (or career summary or executive profile or core competencies) is a brief overview that focuses on your skills, education, accomplishments or anything else that could persuade prospective employers to hire you. More often than not, it provides your career highlights. It can have the form of a bulleted list, a paragraph, a two-column competencies list or any other format you may deem appropriate.

Here, you have the chance to paint a picture of yourself in such a way that the reader will become interested and continue reading your resume.

Career Objective and Career Profile: The difference

Your career objective states what you can do for the Company rather than what the Company can do for you. Compared to the self-looking career objective, your career profile emphasizes what you can offer.

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