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Resume and Interview Techniques: Part two – Career Objective, do you add one to your resume or not?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, it is a matter of preference. If you are going to have one be prepared to at least review it for every job application and change it if necessary.

Whilst your resume once prepared should be good to go until such times as something needs to be added, if you have a career objective in the document you need to be prepared to modify it, however slightly, for every job application.  It should be specific and relate to the role you are applying for.  If you are young and at the commencement of your career it may be useful to provide an indication of where you hope your career will take you.

Consider whether your career objective will pigeonhole you – this is more likely to be the case if you are sending your resume to a company or recruiter for any opportunities, as opposed to applying for a specific role.  On the hand, there is the view that a stated career objective can explain who you are and what you are looking for in the most concise way.

As more and more people embark on second and third careers there is an argument that the career objective clarifies to a employer the reason why you are applying for the role.  If, for example, you have come from high-powered executive positions in the private sector or in government and you are looking at a role in the community sector with considerably less prestige and a lower pay packet, a career objective that talks about why you are making that change will explain something that is otherwise difficult to understand and may even make you a more attractive candidate.  It may result in avoiding the legendary “you are overqualified” reason for not getting interviews or roles.

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