What is an objective statement?

Your objective statement is a short introduction to your CV. It is also known as a ‘personal profile’, ‘profile statement’ or ‘mission statement’. It is a positive and descriptive statement about yourself and your career aim. Make it interesting and give employers a glimpse into your personality and your career goals.

When should you include a statement?

  • When you do not have a relevant qualification, degree or work experience.
  • When you cannot or was asked not to submit a cover letter.
  • If you are applying for work through a recruitment agency.
  • If you are making a big career change.
  • If there is a lot of competition for jobs in your particular field or industry.

When should you not include a statement?

  • If you have no idea what industry you would like to work in.
  • If you have no idea what job you would like to do.
  • You are sending a cover letter and can include the information there.
  • If you are unclear about what is the best information to include in your statement. No statement is better than an unclear or poorly written statement.

How long should the statement be?

  • Short sentences that are sharp and to the point.
  • Keep it very short! 40-70 words, 3-5 sentences (no more than five lines).

What information should you include in your statement?

  • Your statement should be a quick summary of your personality, representing who you are (personal qualities), where you see yourself (career goal) and what you have to offer (skills and/or experience).
  • Your statement may be questioned in the interview. Be sure that you are comfortable in explaining and justifying the points you make.

Where should you put it on your CV?

Add your objective statement under your name and personal details on your CV. Create a new heading or sub-section to make it stand out.

How to write a good statement:

Before you begin writing your statement, think about descriptive words that describe who you are. Then target your statement towards the industry of your choice and the job you are applying for.

Sentence 1: Who you are and your career goal

  • State who you are, not your name, but your current position, for example, student, graduate or current job title.
  • Include information about the industry or job you are passionate about or what you want your next step in your career to be.
  • Use words that describe your personality.

For example: “Recent, enthusiastic matriculant eager to kick start my career, looking for an opportunity to develop new skills in the Hospitality industry.” Or, “Confident and reliable individual, passionate about people and fashion with interests in the Retail sector.”

Sentence 2: Your personal qualities

  • Summarise your top strengths, skills or qualities that match the job position or relate to the requirements listed on the advert.
  • Try to show how these qualities will help you perform well on the job.

For example: “I am adaptable, friendly and eager to help, able to work well in diverse teams.” Or, “I am passionate about people, outgoing and approachable, able to efficiently and effectively communicate with customers.”

Sentence 3: Experience or what you can offer the business or employer

  • Mention any example or evidence of an experience you had that relates to the job application, no matter how small or informal it was.
  • Show how this experience or achievement can benefit the employer.

For example: “I am actively involved in community projects and result driven.” Or, “I have experience in brand promoting and can work independently to reach targets.”

(Optional) Sentence 4: Availability

  • Mention when you are available to start working to show that you are flexible.

The above is only a guideline. Your statement does not have to follow this exact method. Your statement should show who you are and what you have to offer potential employers.

More tips:

  • Do not use the same words you find on the job advert. Employers will think you just copied and pasted from the job advert and that your statement is not true to who you are. Try to find alternative words or synonyms.
  • Do not repeat your objective statement or too many of the same words in other sections of your CV or cover letter. If you overuse the same words, it will lose value.
  • Try to avoid overused words such as “good listener” and “hard worker”.
  • A profile/objective statement can be good preparation for the interview and help you build your network (Find out more about how to network here).