There has been some confusion regarding cover letters and objective statements in recent years. Some experts will even say that they are no longer necessary or useful in today's job market. This article will help you better understand the scope and purpose of these resume components, and why we believe they are extremely important in the job search process.
To begin, we'll talk about objective statements.
Objective Statements: Purpose and Placement
What is the purpose of an objective statement? You want to inform the reader of exactly what you are trying to achieve professionally. However, you cannot stop there. It is of equal or greater importance to tell the reader how your skills can directly benefit them. Your statement should be a clear, succinctly written declaration and summary of your skills that answers the question, why should we consider you for the position?
I'm willing to bet that a lot of you have been told that your objective statement should be placed on the resume itself. We disagree – it should be placed on your cover letter. What's the rationale for this? If we agree that the purpose of an objective statement is to inform the reader what you're trying to achieve professionally, and must tell them why they should hire you, it's logical to conclude that the reader will need this information before they read your actual resume. Your cover letter is read first, therefore, your objective statement would be more effective if placed there. Additionally, it's much easier to modify your objective statement on a cover letter to fit the organization than it is to rewrite your resume for each job you're applying for.
That being said, the choice of where to place your objective statement is ultimately up to you. Use your instincts.
Objective Statement Examples
Now that we have discussed the purpose and format of your objective statement, let's move on to some examples. As stated before, when applying for different jobs, you will need to modify your objective. The following are some examples of objective statements for management and non-managerial positions. Remember, these statements will appear in the second paragraph of your cover letter.
Example 1 – Financial Executive Objective Statement
As a member of your Financial Planning group, I am confident that my solid achievements and strategic planning will enable me to be instrumental in positioning XYZ Company to exceed revenue projections.
Example 2 – Spend Management Executive Objective Statement
My team building achievements and no-nonsense negotiating abilities will enable me to provide the necessary leadership to XYZ Company's Spend Management team.
You'll note that these statements both give an overview of the applicant's strengths, while also telling the reader how these strengths will benefit the company.
Next, we'll talk about how to approach your cover letter format.
How to Format Your Cover Letter
The first paragraph of the cover letter is where you should introduce yourself to the reader in a way that keeps them interested in you as a potential employee. Tell them why you're sending them your resume. For example, you may be responding to an online advertisement. Make sure you identify the position that you are applying for. Additionally, convey interest in working for the company by identifying the company's core values, and what you find attractive about them.
The second paragraph ties your professional highlights and achievements to the company desired traits for the position you're applying for, and gets the reader excited about what you could bring to organization. It convinces the reader that you possess the right skill set and experience. Typically, the second paragraph of your resume cover letter is where your objective statement should be placed. Also, make quick reference to your attached resume. For example, My resume has been attached for your review. I am confident you'll find that my credentials are an excellent match for this position.
Your third and last paragraph should convey your interest in discussing the position with the reader. It's okay to push a little bit for an interview, but you need to ensure that you balance the statement to respect their time. For example: I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you at your earliest convenience . Next, thank the reader for their consideration and their time.
Cover Letter Examples
We've discussed the three components to your cover letter and how to format it. Now, let's take the objective statements used previously and incorporate them into two different cover letters.
Example 1: Financial Executive Cover Letter
I was very pleased to find your online advertisement for the position of Financial Executive with XYZ Company. I believe this position would be a great fit for me, as XYZ's leadership in promoting green technology appeals to my interest in preserving the environment
My resume has been attached for your review. As a member of your Financial Planning group, I am confident that my solid achievements and strategic planning will enable me to be instrumental in positioning XYZ Company to exceed revenue projections. I am confident you'll find that my credentials are an excellent match for this position.
My contact information is attached, and I look forward to further discussing this opportunity with you at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your consideration.
Example 2: Spend Management Executive Cover Letter
I am very interested in XYZ Company's advertised position for Spend Management Executive. Your company stellar track record in the global market and my extensive background in international commerce would make me the ideal candidate.
Attached, please find my resume detailing the various leadership positions I have held. My management skills, team building achievements, and no-nonsense negotiating abilities will enable me to provide the necessary leadership to XYZ Company's Spend Management team.
My current contact information is attached for your convenience. Please feel free to contact me to schedule an interview and discuss this opportunity further. Thank you for your consideration.
Remember that your cover letter and objective are essential to your career toolbox. The goal is to gain the reader's initial interest, which will hopefully get them to continue on and read your actual resume. Give these components the same time and attention that you give the resume, and you'll find more offers to interview coming your way.