It is not easy to author your objective(s). To
make things worse, it is even harder to read
someone else’s objective when it is formed
with someone else’s thought process and words.
No wonder advice for resumes can be to skip
writing an objective statement. That is, unless
you are relating one that is specifically using
the keywords and clear message that you are
seeking to meet what a company is seeking.
OBJECTIVES VS. GOALS
It is tempting when writing objectives to
confuse and even interchange goals and
objectives. One well-conceived document
(Tulane Univ.) articulates goals as providing
PRINCIPLES guiding actions, attitudes and
behaviors. Objectives are specific, concrete
STEPS to meet elements of goals. Several
objectives may be needed to reach a goal.
Goals: broad, general intentions
can be abstract and hard to measure
Objectives: focused and concrete achievements
can be tangible and measured.
It is commonly said that we should be persistent
with our goals and flexible with our objectives in
pursuit of our goals.
OBJECTIVES FOR DIFFERENT AUDIENCES
Having narrowed down objectives to focus on
achievements, we need to distinguish different
audiences. When we are defining what we want
to do to be granted a Ph.D. we recognize there
is a specific audience, your adviser and
committee, that must be satisfied, in addition to
When we are defining our objective for seeking
a technical position with a specific employer, we
need to use the keywords and resonate with the
key skills and abilities the employer seeks. This
is done in a resume in really two sections, the
OBJECTIVE and HIGHLIGHTS.
Audience analysis strongly influences each
objective for resume for each position. It is
strongly suggested that attention is paid to
what each employer seeks.
Not long ago, we posted an entry about
“SMARTER” OBJECTIVES that can be
constructed for yourself and for project teams.
Note the different audience here, as opposed to
a resume objective (briefer, specific) and your
thesis work (outlined to attack a problem or
explore a concept, can be subject to
Smarter objectives are an acronym for
Letter Term Less frequently used terms
M Measurable Meaningful
A Achievable Appropriate, action-oriented
R Relevant Results-oriented
T Time-bound Timely
E Exciting Evaluated
R Recorded Rewarding, reviewed
- know the difference with goals,
- understand what your audience will seek, and
- think hard how you can create satisfying personal
or team objectives.