Whether you’re a fresh graduate, a professional making a career change, or someone entering the workforce for the first time, an entry-level resume objective is a great way to state your intentions and call the hiring manager’s attention to your stand-out qualities.
A resume objective, often called a resume summary, is an opening section that offers space to highlight your relevant education or experiences. While it might seem daunting to write an entry-level objective when you don’t have much work experience, this section can quickly make your resume rise above the competition.
This blog and the adaptable examples it contains will help answer the following questions:
- What is an entry-level resume objective and why do I need one?
- How to write a no-experience resume objective
- Entry-level resume objective examples
- What are the key features of a first job resume objective?
The average resume gets reviewed for just 7 seconds! Your objective helps call attention to your key qualities and encourages the hiring manager to spend a bit more time learning about what you have to offer. Source: HRDive
What is an entry-level resume objective and why do I need one?
An entry-level objective for your resume is an opening paragraph that highlights your key skills and relevant experience in order to encourage the hiring manager to continue reading your application.
It’s worth noting that a true “resume objective” is only a short sentence stating the purpose of your application. For example, “To secure an IT specialist role at Howard Enterprises.” It’s easy to see why this sort of sentence is now considered to be ineffective and outdated. Hiring managers know you’re interested in the job – that’s why you’ve submitted your resume!
Instead of a short objective, aim to create a resume summary. These 3-5 sentences explain to the hiring manager what you can bring to their business should they hire you. Key skills from the job description, relevant education, or impressive achievements are all great details to mention in the summary. While this might feel daunting to job seekers just starting out, the following chapters will walk you through the steps to write a great first job resume objective.
How to write a no-experience resume objective
A no-experience resume objective is a great way to show the hiring manager that you’re worthy of the interview, even if you don’t have much previous employment to show. Instead of focusing on past jobs, you can use your entry-level resume objective to explain your professional trajectory, your motivation, and any relevant skills.
Let’s look at the steps of writing an objective for an entry-level resume:
1. Read the job description closely
Think of the job description as a cheat sheet describing exactly what the employer is looking for in prospective candidates. Make sure to take note of any personality traits, skills, or educational experiences that are important to the employer and place those into your objective if they ring true for you.
2. Brainstorm your best qualities
Take a moment to reflect on your personal strengths, personality traits, or motivations for applying to the position. Make sure to locate any overlap between the qualities sought by the employer and your own abilities. For example, if the job description asks for “attention to detail” and you can show that organization skills are your strength, don’t hesitate to place it in your summary.
3. Reflect on any achievements
You may be applying to your first job, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have no accomplishments to show. Think of awards or achievements that demonstrate your skills or personality traits. Make sure to use numbers or statistics to highlight your impact and worthiness for the award. These achievements may be academic, volunteer, or personal, but the summary should make clear the ways in which they are relevant to the position you’re applying to.
4. State the position and location
When applying to a large company, it’s likely that the hiring manager will be reviewing many applications for several openings. Therefore it’s a good idea to state the position and location of the job, and even the reference number of the job posting if available. For example, a Starbucks barista may include “Ready to bring my positive attitude and efficient customer service skills to a barista position at the Starbucks Oak Heights location (Ref. # 034820)”
Bringing it all together: beginner resume objective examples
Now that we’ve discussed the steps of writing a great beginner resume objective, let’s take a look at a few examples that bring together all the elements described in the previous chapter.
Cheery and reliable high school student ready to take on a role as a barista at JavaTime’s Bethesda location. Highly organized and efficient with customer service experience from a summer job in retail. Currently a student at Bethesda High School where I take on leadership roles like class secretary and volleyball team captain.
Attentive and organized recent graduate ready to take on a position as an administrative assistant for Jefferson Legal. Experienced in records-keeping and scheduling from an internship in a marketing firm. Managed error-free schedules for five members of the college admissions team during student work experience.
Friendly and motivated customer service representative looking for next position with Verizon. Ready to make a career change after 2+ years of retail customer service experience including resolving customer complaints and problem-solving in a team setting. Awarded employee of the month three times for commitment to positive customer interactions.
What are the key features of a first job resume objective?
Applying to your first job may feel like an uphill battle, but the resume objective is a crucial section when it comes to convincing the hiring manager that you’re worthy of a shot. These 3-5 sentences allow you to explain any details that might not be obvious just from looking at your resume. For example, you can mention any gaps in employment history, such as those taken to care of family members or to travel.
Most employers hiring for entry-level positions expect candidates to apply with limited experience and learn on the job once hired. This doesn’t mean your resume can be blank, however. Instead, use your objective to focus on the qualities that make you the right person to learn. A positive attitude, strong work ethic, interest in the field, and ability to follow instructions are qualities that can be applied to nearly any first job.
You can also your resume objective to state a bit more about your background. For example, if most of your resume experience is from another field, it may be helpful to explain to the hiring manager that you’re making a career change. Don’t forget to spell out the link between the qualities you demonstrated in the past field and the ones you’ll need to succeed in a new job. Recent graduates can also mention their educational history, and any relevant degrees, coursework, or internships.
Key takeaways for an entry-level resume objective
- An entry-level resume objective is a valuable tool for landing your first job, provided you take the time to explain why you’re the right person for the position.
- Make sure to read the job description and take note of the ways your experience or personality traits overlap with the employer’s ideal candidate.
- It can be helpful to state the name of the position you’re applying for and the location, especially when applying to a large company or chain.
- The objective is a great place to explain questions the hiring manager may have after reading your resume, such as gaps in employment, a career change, or the fact that you’re a recent grad.