I received a question from Lindiwe in KZN recently. She wanted to know if it was still a good idea to include an application objective on your CV or if this was no longer necessary. It is a wonderful question and there is no right or wrong answer to be completely honest. Including an objective at the start of your CV can be beneficial to your application if done correctly, however it can also negatively affect your chances if written poorly. Lets quickly discuss what an objective statement is, how to prepare one and when would be the best time to use one.
What is an objective statement on your CV?
An objective statement is a paragraph describing your goals and ambitions for employment. It can be as simple as stating your desired job title or it can be slightly more detailed giving an idea about where you come from and where you see yourself going. It should be strong and positive and convey to the employer that you know what you want to do and that your talents align with the employment vacancy.
How to prepare your objective statement.
I mentioned in my Blog post CV writing tips to secure that interview that your CV should be tailored to each and every position that you apply to. If you are sending out one standard CV with every application you really are not giving yourself the best possible advantage to could. A CV objective statement is no different, you need to prepare a new one for each and every application that you send out. Make sure that you read the job description carefully, make sure the skills and ambitions you include in the statement are relevant to the vacancy. Below are my top tips for preparing your objective statement;
1) Ensure your statement is applicable to the position.
2) Make sure it grabs the readers’ attention.
3) Mention your strongest and most relevant skills.
4) If you have any specific qualifications were mentioned in the job description mention them.
5) Describe your goals AND how you will add value to the organization. Remember do not just focus on your ambitions in life.
6) Keep it short! Remember this is a short statement with the sole purpose of catching the reader’s attention and making them want to read further. 2-5 lines are perfect.
When should you use a CV objective statement?
Well truthfully if you are able to write a great statement then use one on each and every application. That being said there are certain applications that will benefit more from an objective statement then others and these situations will usually revolve around change.. For example, if you are moving to a new city and looking for a job it might be beneficial to mention the reason for the move in your statement. Another great reason could be because you have decided to make a career change, in fact, this could quite possibly be a time that a CV objective statement is crucial. Mention the reasons for the career change and your ambitions in this new field. Another super reason would be because you are fresh onto the job market with no experience, use an objective statement to demonstrate your drive and desire to succeed in your new role.
Well, there you have it, as I mentioned it is a bit of a grey area as to when and even if you should be using an objective statement. In my personal opinion, if you are going to take the time to compose one correctly there is absolutely no reason why it would not be an advantage for you. Remember you are competing against hundreds of other job seekers out there, every advantage you give yourself is a bonus.
If you are struggling to write an objective statement for yourself comment below with what you have so far and I will see if I can help you by rewriting it a little. Good luck and
I look forward to hearing from you.