How to Write an Objective for a Resume or CV (+ Templates)

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

There may be times during your job search when it’s useful to include an objective on your resume or CV. This brief explanation of your professional goals helps explain what you're looking for.

[Featured image] A pair of glasses, a pencil, and a pen sit on top of a stack of resumes on a wooden desk.

In India, resumes and CVs are often used interchangeably, although the more concise resumes are typically used when applying for jobs in the private sector. Longer-form, more detailed CVs are typically used when applying for a job in the public sector. 

Both documents can benefit from including an objective—a one- or two-sentence summary of your most immediate career goals. Though you don't always need to include an objective, it may help a recruiter or hiring manager understand who you are, what you’re looking for, and why you’d be a worthwhile candidate.   

In this article, we’ll go over specific scenarios where it may be worthwhile to include an objective on your resume or CV, along with templates you can follow to help you capture your unique story and aspirations. 

Objectives on resumes and CVs: Key facts 

When you apply for jobs, an objective offers a concise, tailored synopsis that helps explain what you're looking for. It's a way to answer the question, 'Why this job?'

Strong objectives tend to include the following information: 

  1. Who you are

  2. What you want to achieve with your next career move 

  3. The value you’ll add to a position or company 

Resume and CV objective templates + how to adjust

Objectives follow certain conventions. For example, many applicants write in the third-person emphasis, but you can also write in the first person or explain your career goals. 

Let’s take a look at a few examples that employ the information mentioned above:  

  • Third-person emphasis: Social media coordinator [who you are] with agency experience [value add] looking for a position managing social media strategy, planning, and execution for a major health care brand [what you want].  

  • First-person emphasis: I am an agency-trained social media coordinator [who you are] seeking a social media manager position [what you want] where I can apply my health care brand knowledge to grow audience awareness and engagement [value add]

  • Position emphasis: Seeking a social media manager position at a health care start-up [what you want], where I can apply my three years of social media experience using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer [value add + who you are]. 

Adjust your CV or resume objective by determining which format—third-person, first-person, or position emphasis—best fits your particular needs and changing how you present the three key pieces of information. 

For example, to create a more concise description of who you are, use an adjective that grabs a recruiter’s attention, like 'savvy [job title]' or 'organised [job title]'. You can also summarise your experience instead, like '[job title] with X years of experience'. 

When should you use an objective? 

You don’t always need an objective. It can take up valuable space better served in another way, such as clarifying your impact in your most recent role or listing out extra technical skills you have.  

However, including one may help you catch recruiters’ attention. Additionally, several scenarios exist where it can be more helpful to use an objective than others, including:  

  • If you don’t have any experience

  • If you recently graduated college 

  • If you’ve held many different types of roles

  • If you’re interested in changing careers or industries 

  • If you’re interested in career advancement

  • If you’d like to relocate 

Each scenario listed above might benefit from explaining what you hope to achieve in your next role, and providing recruiters with valuable information to help frame the information on your CV or resume. 

Where should an objective go on your resume or CV? 

Depending on how you format your resume, it’s best to put a resume objective near the top, either underneath your header or to the right. Look at this resume template for freshers as an example: 

An example of a resume.

5 CV and resume objective tips 

In two sentences at most, an objective needs to say a lot about who you are and what you want. To make your objective as effective as possible, consider the following tips: 

1. Research keywords. 

As part of your job search, note any keywords in various job descriptions and see if you can integrate a few of them into your objective. For example, if a job description mentions attention to detail, mention that quality when you describe yourself or your experience, 'Successful UX designer with strong attention to detail.'   

2. Tailor your objective for each role. 

You’ll want to tailor your objective for each role by updating the job title you’re looking for, the goal you aim to achieve, or your desire to work specifically for that company. 

3. Be specific about your experience.

After you draft your objective, go back and look for opportunities to replace words with action verbs and powerful adjectives, and identify places where you can specify your experience.  

For example, instead of 'Professional and talented financial advisor with several years of experience,' get specific while remaining succinct, 'Skilled financial advisor with significant experience guiding clients on major product decisions.' 

4. Make your value clear. 

An objective states what you want, but it’s essential to also convey what you offer a company. Try connecting your objective—career advancement or relocation—with unique skills that will clarify your value to a recruiter or hiring manager. 

5. Highlight your needs. 

Beyond the type of role you’re seeking, include any specifications, such as part-time work, remote work, or relocation, so recruiters understand what you’re looking for right away. 

Objective examples: By scenario

Below, we’ve drafted several objective templates based on the scenarios noted earlier and included tips to help you shape your story.  

No experience

Since you may have no title to add to the description you craft about yourself, describe some of your greatest strengths. Use the first-person or third-person format to showcase some of your most vital transferable skills

  • 'Organised, detail-oriented individual seeking an entry-level customer service representative role at [Company Name] to sharpen my communication and sales skills.' 

  • 'I am a collaborative team member with excellent people skills. I’m looking for a part-time barista role where I can learn more about customer service and share my passion for coffee.'

Recent graduate

Highlight your secondary school diploma or college degree in your objective and connect what you learned with the position you’d like to hold: 

  • 'Recent graduate with a computer science degree seeking a web designer position at an innovative start-up. Experienced in HTML/CSS, graphic design, and major CMS platforms.'

  • 'To obtain a position on [Company’s Name] product team, where I can apply my MBA and contribute my strategy, consumer research, and user experience (UX) design knowledge.'

Different roles

Call attention to the transferable skills you’ve developed along the way and how that experience will serve the direction you’re interested in moving next: 

  • 'Collaborative, quick learner who is skilled in communications, research, and design, and would like to apply that multidimensional experience to a role in sales for a luxury retail brand.'

  • 'I’m a seasoned communicator with experience in data analysis and design looking to apply that varied training to a marketing manager position at [Company Name].'

Career advancement

Advancing in your career sometimes means applying for bigger roles and explaining why you’re interested in taking on additional responsibility:

  • 'Successful project coordinator with five years of experience overseeing eight direct reports seeking to become a project manager for an industry-leading fintech company.'

  • 'Established cybersecurity analyst with experience in multiple frameworks and intrusion detection looking to become a security architect for a global company where I can implement key design features to safeguard critical data.'

Career change

It’s important to explain the reason behind your desire to change careers and the skills you believe will help you make the change: 

  • 'Savvy data analyst with experience growing customer insight and retention in the education tech sector. I am now interested in finding a role as a financial analyst for a major banking institution, where I can strengthen my knowledge of trend spotting and forecasting.'

  • 'Driven social media manager with over seven years experience in consumer research, audience engagement, and market strategy. Interested in  a marketing manager position and leading the broader marketing efforts of [Company Name].'


Whether you're about to relocate or already have, a company may want to understand your larger plans. 

  • 'I am an experienced graphic designer relocating to Mumbai in February, and I’m eager to find a position at [Company Name]. I have over four years of experience in website design, and I’m trained in Adobe Creative Suite.'

  • 'Innovative business intelligence analyst with experience contributing data-backed insight to three Fortune 500 companies. Seeking a position at a leading product engineering firm in Bangalore, where I’ll be relocating in April.'

Explore further

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