What should your CV objective statement look like?

Paper and a hand holding a pen on a table

Most employers will only spend around 20 seconds on their first look at each CV, which means your statement has to be tightly focused and highly relevant. Time invested in getting your statement right is time well spent.

These three guiding principles will help:

Keep it short

Your statement should be no more than 50 words, and it should sell your skills and strengths in the context of the role you are applying for. Think of this as the headline for the rest of your CV.

Don’t get bogged down in detail. If you can engage and interest whoever is reading your CV, they will keep reading and get the rest of the information on your career and skills in the main body.

Remember this is not a summary of what you have achieved, it is a summary of why you are the right person for the job.

Be specific

Nothing turns off a prospective employer as much as a generic CV. Do your homework to ensure you know as much as possible about the organisation and the role you are applying for. If there are two equally qualified candidates, the one who has clearly done extensive research will appeal most.

Be specific about how your skills and experience are a good match for the role. Find out as much as you can about the values and style of the organisation you are applying to, and make sure that you reflect the fact that you would be a good fit.

Show, don’t tell

CV objective statements are often groaning under the weight of adjectives like motivated, performance-orientated, self-starting and driven. Those kinds of words and phrases don’t make you stand out from the crowd, they make you disappear into it.

As with all marketing the rule is ‘Show, don’t tell’. Don’t tell the employer that you are an accomplished salesperson, show them what you have accomplished. Instead of saying ‘extensive experience in national sales’ say ‘3 years leading national sales team whilst growing turnover by 36% to $14 million.”

Sell your unique experience and skills by showing what you can do with them and always give concrete examples.

A useful exercise is to take a look at your objective statement and ask yourself if you could picture it on anyone else’s CV. If the answer is yes then it is probably too generic and would benefit from more focus on your unique ‘brand’.

Don’t use your objective statement to say that you want the job or are ‘looking for new opportunities’, your application makes that obvious.

Remember: employers aren’t focused on what you’re looking for, they’re focused on what they’re looking for: someone who will do a great job.

How to lead effectively when working remotely

31 Mar 2020

Managing or leading teams can be difficult at the best of time, but doing so remotely presents its own set of challenges.

Tags: MENA

SThree COVID-19 Update

19 Mar 2020

Our purpose is to bring skilled people together to build the future, and this has never felt more important than it does today.

Our Dubai team has been awarded with three different titles at this year’s Talent International Annual Recruitment Awards

17 Feb 2020

Our Dubai office is extremely honoured to have won three awards at this year’s Talent International Annual Recruitment Awards (TIARA). This is a great testament to the hard work, strategy and partnerships that the team has with our clients and candidates. Find out more about the awards in the article.

Tech geeks have their ‘Head in the Clouds’ in Middle East?

26 Dec 2019

In the ME, the cloud is expected to create nearly 55,000 jobs with public spending amounting to AED1.5 billion by 2022. With such optimism in the market, we explore what really constitutes the cloud in UAE, and the trends that will fuel this growth.