What Does Objective Mean on a Job Application?

by Leyla Norman; Updated September 26, 2017

Job applications usually have a line on which you can indicate what type of job you want, briefly describe your skills and say what you have to offer to an employer -- a statement known as an objective. The objective is brief and to the point, providing the employer with information about your background and what kind of job you want at a quick glance.

Short

A job objective should be short and to the point. It is usually under three lines of text in a word-processing program. You may not have that much room on a paper job application, so you must choose your words carefully to describe exactly what you are looking for when you write your objective.

Job & Skills

Write the title of the job you are seeking in your objective. If you are replying to a job advertisement, include the exact title of the job in your objective. If you are looking for any position available that meets your qualifications, provide at least one job title in which you would be interested. For example, if you apply for a job in a grocery store, you could write that you want to be a cashier. This would indicate to the employer that you do not want to work as a stocker. Write each objective to appeal to the needs of specific employers. Avoid writing that you seek a job utilizing your skills and experiences; this is too general. If you want to build your skills in a certain area, indicate this in the objective. If you are a new graduate, for example, you might write, “New nursing graduate seeks RN position where I can develop hands-on clinical skills in a challenging work environment.”

Experience

Describe your experience in a few words in the objective. For example, if you have experience as a cashier in a fast-food restaurant and you are applying for a cashier position at the grocery store, you might say, “Cashier with five years of experience seeks position as cashier at XYZ Supermarket.” This tells the employer right away that you already know the basics of the job.

What You Have to Offer

Write what sets you apart from other job applicants. For example, you might say, “I seek a position as an administrative assistant in a company where I can utilize my organizational and bookkeeping skills to create efficient processes that save the company money.”

About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.