How to Fill Out the Professional Objective and Education Section of Your Resume

Filling Out Professional Objective and Education Section in Your Resume

One of the first things a potential employer is likely to see is the professional objective that you have created to get his or her attention. This statement needs to be well thought out and pertinent to your needs. Both the objective and the education sections will depend upon your experience and your field.


In this article, you will learn how to compose your professional objective, as well as the education section of your resume.
  • Why should you consider designing a professional objective?
  • What should be included, and what should be left out?
  • What kind of educational experience should be on your resume?
  • How should the education section be presented?
Writing Your Objective
  The professional objective is usually listed near the top of your resume, just below your name and contact information. It is a statement that clearly demonstrates your goals and objectives in applying for employment.

Not all job seekers will choose to include an objective on their resumes. For those who do, however, they will want to put some quality thought and effort into ensuring that the objective that they compose has the highest possible impact. The space on your resume is very limited, so you do not want to waste any of it with "throwaway" content.

One of the advantages of including an objective is that you can easily "tweak" it to fit the particular job for which you are applying. This helps you to target particular employers as well as to set them up with certain expectations as they review your experience and skills. When you do this tweaking, you can make a point to use keywords that were mentioned in the job advertisement to spotlight that you are fit for the position. A second advantage is that it gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that you understand the field or industry for which you are applying.

When writing the objective, many job seekers just waste valuable real estate on their resumes. If you tell the employer that your objective is to gain employment that is challenging and utilizes your skills, then you really have not told them anything that is not perfectly obvious. After all, you would not be submitting a resume if you were not trying to gain employment, it should go without saying that you want a job that is interesting and not dull, and you cannot utilize anyone's skills but your own, right?

One way to create much more impact with your resume objective is to use it as an opportunity to tell the employer what you can do for them. Focus on them rather than yourself by using it to answer the question, "What can I do for you?"

For example, if you are applying for a bookkeeping position, you can use the objective to talk about how you wish to utilize your specific training to apply an ordered approach to the business' finances that will improve company efficiency and withstand IRS scrutiny. If you are an IT professional, you may want to use the objective to describe how your previous experience with a particular software platform can be used to keep the new company up-to-date and compliant with various licensing agencies. Consider choosing a skill that you can apply specifically to the employer and drive the idea home with your objective statement.

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Resume Writing course?

The Education Section

If you are applying for a job that requires specialized schooling or training, then you are likely to include an education section. By focusing on your educational background, you are able to demonstrate to potential employers that you have a solid understanding of the field and that you are qualified to play a part in it. In addition, the act of attending and completing a program shows that you are able to commit to a goal and to see it through to completion. Along those same lines, the employer will know that you have satisfactorily completed assignments and tests to receive the overall degree or certification.

Those who have attended college, university, professional school, or technical school will generally highlight that education in this section. High school experience is usually not included unless you attended a specialized high school that is relevant to the job.

This section will include the name of the school, as well as the location. You probably will not list the entire address, but will include the city and state. If you have already graduated, put the date; and if you have not yet graduated, you should include your anticipated month and year of graduation. Of course, you should also include the degree that you earned (or plan to earn) from the institution. Finally, you may consider including your grade point average, or GPA. Most of the time, you will only want to include this if it is particularly high or if the employer specifically requests the information.

You will need to choose where to place this section on your resume. The decision should be based on the strength of your education in comparison with the other sections of the document. For example, a recent college graduate will likely focus heavily on the educational experience when talking with recruiters, and this section will therefore be high on the resume, likely just below the objective statement, if one is being used.

On the other hand, if your school days are long behind you and the real meat of your resume is found in the job history section, then you may want to showcase your relevant job experience at the higher level on the page. So this section then will come before your awards, honors, or achievements, which are usually found near the bottom of the resume.

For those who do not have much job experience and are looking for ways to add relevant information to their resumes, the education section may be a place to add a little bulk. For example, you can list both your major and minors, with GPAs for both; areas of concentration; relevant coursework or special projects; thesis or dissertation topics; and certifications.


So much of your resume is showing how your experience makes you the best candidate for the job. That experience can come from a number of places, include your work history, your leadership activities, volunteer positions, and so forth. You may choose to make each of these into a separate section on your resume, or you may prefer to combine two or more for impact.

The goal of this article is to learn what types of experience to include, as well as how to format them for the greatest impact.
  • Which experiences should you consider including in your resume?
  • What methods can you use to impress the reader?
  • Should you combine topics or make each a separate section?

Take an Objective Look at Your Experience

When we talk about "experience" concerning a resume, we are referring to those activities in your life that make you particularly well qualified for a certain job. In some cases, these are quite easy to recognize. For example, if you have worked in the field for several years, then you have a job history that is quite relevant. On the other hand, if you are changing careers, to reenter the workforce, or are looking for your first real job, then you will have to rely on other types of experience to demonstrate your qualifications.
Job Experience

Obviously, job experience is one of most useful ways to show an employer that you have what it takes. If you are applying for a general manager position and can demonstrate through this section that you have worked up from entry level to a more responsible position, and then into an assistant management role, this section of your resume is going to be extremely important in your job seeking process. Someone with the kind of job history just described is probably using a chronological resume to highlight how this work history has prepared him or her for the role.

When writing your job history, there are several aspects you will usually want to include. First, you will mention the employer, as well as the position you held at the company. Most of the time, you will also include the general dates that you were there. Finally, you will summarize your responsibilities in each position. If you did the exercise in chapter three, then you should have all of this information gathered already and writing this section will simply be a matter of formatting it into a layout that makes sense for you.

This section works to share several key pieces of information with the potential employer. First, he or she can get a glimpse into where you have worked, as well as the positions you have held. In addition, the employer is able to get an idea about your job loyalty when reviewing your dates of employment. This can be problematic if you have had several jobs or have a gap in your employment. In those cases, you may want to use a functional resume or find other ways to downplay this aspect of your past.

Volunteer Experience
Volunteer experience can actually be a very important addition to a resume. There are several reasons for this. First, you may find that in your volunteer life, you are able to take on roles that you just cannot play in your work life. For example, you may have a job as an office worker but spend every weekend building houses with Habitat for Humanity. If you are changing careers to get into more manual labor, then this experience has suddenly become even more valuable.

In addition, volunteer positions are usually related to causes for which we care deeply. A potential employer who sees your passion for working with the homeless or helping poor children get access to medicine can be swayed to give you a chance. For those who do not have much official work history, volunteer jobs may be the only relevant experience that they have. These kinds of situations allow you to develop skills that you simply would not have otherwise, and they can be used to help strengthen your resume.

Leadership Experience
Your leadership experience may be related to your job history, to your volunteer service, or to something else. For this reason, you will need to decide if it requires its own section or should it be combined with another. Many individuals also gain their leadership experience during school without realizing that it can be used to build their resumes later. If you have been a member of your student government, have held an office in a club, or have been elected to other positions, you might want to draw attention to this.
How to Present Your Experience

No matter which experience sections you choose to include on your resume, you should strive to make them each consistent with one another. If you start with your job history, for example, and list your employer, your position, and the dates of employment on the first line, then mirror this in subsequent experience sections. For example, if you have volunteer experience, list the volunteer organization, the position you held, and the dates you were involved with that organization.

The experience sections of your resume are often the ones that offer the most impact, and you want to capitalize on that as much as possible. One excellent way to do this is to use action oriented words. When you describe your job duties, for example, start each description with a strong action word.

If you worked as a receptionist at a university, for example, your descriptions might look something like the following.
  • Coordinated on-campus events attended by 200-300 students annually.
  • Scheduled five executive level personnel.
  • Maintained XYZ student database and performed daily queries and report functions.

You should notice several key aspects to these descriptions.

  1. Each mirrors the others in form. (All are past tense, for example.)
  2. Each starts with a strong action verb.
  3. Industry specific keywords have been used.
  4. The descriptions are quantifiable. They use specific numbers to make a point about the work completed.
  5. The descriptions are brief, but not so short that no useful information is conveyed.
As with each section of the resume, consistency is extremely important. By starting each sentence in the same way, you are making it considerably easier for the prospective employer to scan your resume and get the most vital information. It also just looks and flows well, which will make the employer respond more positively.