Resume objectives may only be a few lines long, but they have the power to create an intriguing and attention-grabbing introduction for hiring managers. During my years of matching talented professionals with organizations, I’ve seen how important a strong first impression is and how solid resume objectives can give candidates a valuable edge. If you’ve ever struggled with crafting a good objective for resume use, find out how a few lines can help you get noticed and put you ahead of the competition.

Create a Targeted, Customized Traditional Objective
Even if your actual objective is to secure a management position at an established company, statements like this are too broad to use on your resume. Just as with the rest of your resume, your goal in writing a resume objective is to show a hiring manager that you’re the perfect fit for her open position. You don’t create a compelling – or even an interesting case for yourself by saying you want a general management job that could be offered to you by thousands of different companies.

Instead of writing a vague objective and sticking it at the top of every application, create a tailored statement that demonstrates your desire to work for each particular company, in the specific role you’re hoping to obtain.

This is especially important if you’re changing careers or industries and you need to use your objective to make up for a lack of experience. Your objective is the only place on your resume where you can illustrate your passion for the sports industry, for example, or explain why you’ve always wanted to work in an editorial department.

Use Your Objective as a Personal Branding Tool
If you want to buck the standard of traditional resume objectives, consider framing your objective as a personal branding statement instead. A short, sharp statement that conveys your expertise can make your resume stand out from the rest of the crowd while creating an effective tool for helping hiring managers remember you.

Whether you’re developing a branding statement from scratch or using one that’s already on your blog, social media site or website – make sure the statement is appropriate for a business setting and won’t be offensive to any hiring managers. Unlike traditional resume objectives statements, a more branding-focused statement can be used across the board when you apply to different companies. In fact, consistent use of your objective helps your name and role stick in the minds of managers so that even if you don’t get the job, they’ll be more likely to remember you for future opportunities.

What strategies do you use when creating objectives for resumes? Let us know in the comments below.