What is a CV objective… and should you even use one?

It's all over in a flash. Hiring managers spend seven seconds looking at each new application that comes their way. In that short burst of time, they make a snap decision about whether the candidate will progress to the next stage in the hiring process. 

So, how can you grab their attention? 

You have two options: a CV objective or a CV summary. Understanding which you should choose could be the key to your success. But it's quite the conundrum. In the following guide, we look at the difference between the two, suggest some CV objective examples, and find out how you can make your application stand out from the crowd with a stellar summary. 

What is a career objective for a CV?

Your career objective sits at the top of your CV. It comprises three parts: who you are, the skills you have, and what you're looking for in your next role. 

While that all sounds great on paper, there's something you should know. Career objectives are basically outdated these days. These blurbs focus too much attention on what a candidate wants from an employer, rather than what value they can bring to the business. 

For that reason, we always recommend using a professional summary instead. Check out our full guide on how to write your CV summary now. 

Career objective vs. professional summary

Now for a quick distinction. You might think that a career objective and professional summary are the same thing. You'd be wrong. While these two blurbs take the same top spot on your CV, they serve different purposes. Understanding that is essential. 

Professional summaries cover your experience, selling points, and most valuable attributes - a quick snapshot of you professionally. Much like an elevator pitch, it's an opportunity to tell the hiring manager what you bring to the table in a few sentences. 

However, a career objective is geared more towards the future and what a candidate desires in their next role. It is essentially the applicant walking into a company and demanding certain things from it. That's not how the job seeking process works. It's a smarter approach to tell the hiring manager why you're right for the job (rather than what you want from it!). 

CV objective examples for multiple jobs

While CV objectives are all but obsolete, you might be wondering what they look like. We've got you covered here. Let's take a look at some common CV objective examples for various professions: 

1. Accountant career objective for CV

“Hard working and detail-oriented Accountant with 15+ years of experience and a firm grounding in financial principles, seeking an intermediate position at a leading company. Track record of strategic planning and financial management for leading companies. Proven ability to efficiently cut costs and increase ROI by at least 18%.”  

2. Administration career objective for CV

“Adaptable Administration Assistant with 8 years of experience looking for a managerial role to take the next step on the ladder. Proficient in call handing, email correspondence, data entry, scheduling meetings, and general administrative tasks. Motivated to further career through learning and development opportunities.”

3. Barista career objective for CV

“Confident and approachable Barista with Starbucks store training completed, seeking Supervisor position at an independent cafe. Experienced in crafting artisan drinks and creating imaginative latte art. Proven track record of customer service success, winning the “Server of the Month” award twice in one year.”

4. Care Worker career objective for CV

“Patient and compassionate Care Worker with experience tending to both elderly clients and those with a variety of needs, seeking long-term residential caregiving role. Specialises in creating a strong bond of trust with service users and their families. Can assist with general caregiving tasks, personal hygiene duties, basic first aid, and everyday support.”

5. Data entry career objective for CV

“Organised and proficient Data Entry Clerk, specialising in large scale database management. Looking for a new role to challenge and develop existing expertise. Track record of 99.99% accuracy across all tasks. Boasts excellent communication while also being able to use OmPrompt Order Management software to its best advantage.”

6. Electrician career objective for CV

“Fully-certified, skilled Electrician with 11 years of trade experience. Previously worked on complex industrial installations and repairs. Continuously learning and ensuring that qualifications and training are up to date. Seeking a new job with a large agency under a senior tradesman to hone my craft.”

7. Financial Advisor career objective for CV

“Financial Advisor and Consultant working with a selection of private and corporate clients across the UK, seeking full-time position in leading firm. Able to deliver fully comprehensive financial strategies and budgets based on each client's goals. Wide-ranging investment expertise derived from over a decade working within the financial industry.”

8. Graphic Designer career objective for CV

“Talented and creative Graphic Designer, specialising in large-scale branding projects and print materials. Searching for an agency-based role, working on a variety of media forms. Proficient in all Adobe programs including Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Works collaboratively with clients to reach their goals and expectations.”

9. HR career objective for CV

“CIPD-accredited HR professional with 9 years of experience in the field. Passionate about supporting employees' ongoing growth and managing diverse teams. Seeking a new role in which to hone leadership skills as part of a developing department.”

10. Journalist career objective for CV

“Trainee Journalist with bachelor's degree and NCTJ qualification. Competent in patch work, court reporting, shorthand, writing, editing, and interview techniques. Looking for a traineeship working below an established News Journalist, shadowing their daily workload.”

11. IT career objective for CV 

“Driven IT specialist seeking new mid-level role in a multinational business. Extensive experience of modern hardware and software, with the unique ability to swiftly troubleshoot issues. Always up to date with the latest industry developments and updates. Awarded “Employee of the Year” in previous role at Marker's Tech.”

12. Legal Secretary career objective for CV

“Skillful and precise Legal Secretary with experience working in top firms. Boasts a combination of extensive legal knowledge and administrative expertise. Seeks a new role supporting legal professionals in every aspect of their working life.”

13. Marketing Executive career objective for CV

“CIM-certified Marketing Executive with 10 years of experience working in boutique agencies. Specialises in content-driven campaigns and PPC advertisements. Continuously learning and developing skill set. Seeks mid-level position in a marketing agency, overseeing and analysing client campaigns to develop managerial skills.”  

14. Manager career objective for CV

“Passionate professional seeking managerial position with new tech business overseeing midsize department. Performance-oriented with a talent for leading large departments towards success. Seeking to support new and existing employees in delivering top-level results while reaching their full professional potential”

15. Nurse career objective for CV

“Registered Nurse with compassionate nature seeking new opportunities in the paediatric sector. Previously worked in a fast-paced hospital environment caring for patients in a critical care unit. Can deliver high quality in-patient and outpatient support while establishing a strong working relationship with family members.”

16. Nanny career objective for CV

“DBS-checked residential Nanny with 10+ years of experience working with families and children. Fluent in both English and Spanish, with the ability to offer bilingual care to clients. Excellent knowledge of child behaviour and development. Seeking new in-house position with family, caring for children between the ages of 4 and 13 for six-month period.”

17. Operations Manager objective for CV

“Highly-adaptable and competent Operations Manager with direct experience of working in a fast-paced business environment, seeking new managerial position. Dedicated to surpassing expectations and delivering enhanced productivity through streamlined procedures. Armed with problem-solving, critical thinking, and excellent communication skills.” 

18. Pharmacist objective for CV

“Knowledgeable and approachable Pharmacist with more than a decade's healthcare experience seeking new challenge in a customer facing role. Possesses robust and extensive pharmaceutical knowledge, alongside the ability to offer ongoing outpatient care and support. Able to use a selection of software, such as MedRight, to streamline the delivery process.”

19. Receptionist objective for CV

“Organised and friendly Receptionist with an excellent telephone manner and a track record of high-level customer service. Experienced in using email, Microsoft programs, and calendar software to schedule appointments. Looking for a new role in a fast-paced business environment to hone skill-set and further develop existing expertise.”

20. Software Developer objective for CV

“Seasoned Software and App Developer looking for new projects within the startup sector. Specialises in experience-focused design and development while delivering “ready to market” products to clients. Searching for an opportunity to get in on the ground level of a new business while seizing the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded professionals.”

21. Supervisor objective for CV

“Skilled and performance-driven Supervisor with 7 years of experience working within the tech sector, now seeking full-time contract. Successfully boosted departmental productivity by 14.4% in one year in previous role. An excellent communicator with the ability to lead, train, and foster long-standing professional relationships across the team.”

22. Telesales objective for CV

“Charismatic and effective telemarketing professional with over 80% customer conversion rate. Experienced in cold- and warm-calling techniques, with an exceptional talent for selling. Looking to secure a new position within a large marketing agency with learning and development opportunities.”

23. Teacher objective for CV

“NQT English Language and Literature Teacher seeking entry-level position in secondary school or academy. Excellent communication and the ability to multitask while delivering top examination results across the board. Experienced in working with young people from diverse backgrounds and adapting teaching techniques to suit each student's requirements.”

24. UX Designer objective for CV

“User-focused UX Designer, specialising in ecommerce applications. Ability to see projects through from start to finish by creating extensive wireframes and prototypes for development team. Previously worked on top-ranking apps within the online shopping industry. Looking for a new challenge at a software development business.”

25. Vet objective for CV

“Qualified Veterinarian with 10+ years of experience in practice searching for a new surgery position. Fully trained in emergency care for domestic animals, as well as routine checkups and consultations. Offers an empathetic attitude toward clients, using clear communication to explain diagnostic results. Skilled in creating trusted relationships with wider client base.”

26. Waiter objective for CV

“Outgoing and efficient member of waiting staff with 4 years of customer service experience. Passionate about the culinary arts, with sights set on one day becoming a top-ranking Chef. Hard-working, with the ability to deliver exceptional service to customers. Looking for a hospitality role within a busy setting to develop expanding skill-set.”

27. Web Developer objective for CV

“Experienced Web Developer seeking new contract. Proficient in using coding languages to create bespoke web pages tailored to the client's requirements. Able to develop and maintain software while delivering a high-level of customer support. Track record of improving user engagement by at least 3% per software update.”

Bonus: CV objective examples for students

Student CV objective example 

“Driven journalism student seeking work experience within a fast-paced newsroom. Currently completing full NCTJ training and possesses the ability to write 70 WPM in shorthand. Looking to gain real-world experience of court reporting and news reporting.”

Graduate CV objective example 

“Enthusiastic Marketing graduate seeking entry-level role in full service agency. High-level knowledge of social media marketing, using platforms including Instagram and TikTok. Searching for the right place in which to expand existing skills and grow professionally.”

Expert tips on how to write a CV summary

As we've mentioned, writing a CV objective may not be the way to go. However, you need to have a short blurb at the top of your CV. That's where the professional summary comes into play. If you are ready to get started on writing yours, check out our expert tips first.

Keep it short and snappy 

First things first, you need to know how long a CV summary should be. The golden rule here is that it should be between 4-6 sentences, or no longer than 5-6 lines. You need to get the reader's attention quickly. Get straight to the point fast and make sure it has impact.  

Use powerful adjectives 

Nobody out there wants to read a dull statement. Jazz up your summary by using powerful adjectives that describe your professional personality. Examples may include “driven,” “confident,” “outgoing,” “approachable,” and “talented.” These words draw the reader in and show them that you have the right temperament for the job at hand.  

Don't include any fluffy words 

While we're on the subject of words, there are some that you shouldn't use - meaningless ones! You're not trying to fill a word count here; quite the opposite. If you are simply writing sentences for the sake of it, stop and reevaluate what you are doing. Whenever you add something to your professional summary, make sure that it adds value for the reader. 

Avoid using personal pronouns 

CV space is highly valuable and, frankly, you can't afford to waste it. One way that you can cut back on your word count is by omitting any personal pronouns. That means leaving out the “I” phrases that typically open sentences. Instead of saying “I am a driven professional,” get right to the meat of the matter and start off with “ A driven professional”. 

Be clear about your value

When the hiring manager skims your CV, they'll be asking themselves one key question. What can this candidate do for the business? Your summary should answer that question quickly and succinctly. Make sure that you focus it on the value that you can offer. 

Always quantify your results 

Want to upgrade your summary? Quantify your claims and results. For instance, rather than saying that you “increased productivity,” say that you “increased productivity by 14% in 10 months.” The more specific you are, the more likely you are to grab the reader's attention.

Always proofread your summary

Spelling mistakes happen to the best of us. However, there's no faster way to put a hiring manager off than to serve up a professional summary littered with errors. Before submitting your application, proofread your content. You can use software, such as Grammarly, to double-check it too. 

The takeaway 

Looking to turn the hiring manager's head? A professional summary packs a bigger punch than a CV objective. In this guide, we've shared some CV objective examples and explained why they may fail to engage hiring managers. When you are next applying for jobs, perfect the art of writing a stellar summary and you'll give yourself the best odds. 

Is your CV doing its job? If you're seeking a new role, take advantage of our free CV review service now. Find out how your application stacks up against the competition.  

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