Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Illustration Resumes: 4. Objective, Summary, Goals, & Interests

All resumes should contain a job objective statement, goals statement, or a summary of qualifications statement. The problem is which one to use? If you seek information about these statements on the internet it will depend on who you are paying attention to as to which one to use. You will find that each resume advisor has their own preference of one kind over all others. And, most people base that
© 2013 Don Arday.
choice on resume trends and styling rather than what information must be communicated. Each type of statement serves a different purpose, and each kind can communicate a highly positive message, or can project a negative association, if the statement sounds in appropriate or inconsistent with the other information in a resume. This can be avoided by understanding what the differences are among these three statements.

Job Objective

Job objective statements are particularly useful for individuals who are relatively new to a field, as such, is the nature of these statements to relate to specific types of jobs. They should be well defined, and clearly written. Job objective statements are composed for a specific job title, position, and/or a particular type of work. Objective statements regarding type of work might contain terms such as “Storyboard Artist”, “Character Designer”, “Web Illustrator”, “Image Editor”, etc; titles and those regarding positions would include the prefixes like; “Staff (Blank)”, “Assistant (Blank)”, “Art (Blank)”, “Junior (Blank)”, etc. Job objective statements relate to company job listings and often parallel the sort of language used by the employer in a job advertisement. So, a job objective statement might contain titles such as “Assistant Character Designer”, “Art Director”, etc. These statements frequently include modifiers for the purpose of projecting an eagerness and enthusiasm for a position. Statements can be written in third person form or first person form. Here are examples:

Seeking a challenging full-time position that will allow me to use and adapt my talents as an illustrator to support the needs of a fast-paced company.

To obtain a position of Staff Illustrator that will allow me to utilize my passion to work for clients to create narrative and conceptual illustrations.

To effectively apply my visual communication skills through an illustration position in a company setting that will afford me an opportunity for individual contribution and advancement.

Job objectives can be described as local because they are often customized for a single employer or specific type of job opportunity, and rewritten for other opportunities or other employers.

Summary of Qualifications

Summary statements are increasingly becoming more popular. Especially for individuals who have are well established in a particular field. A demonstrated track record as a professional is required to use a summary statement effectively. A summary statement can consist of qualifications, past job positions, accomplishments, career highlights, job experiences, etc. In essence a summary of qualifications statement is a mini biography of employment performance. For someone who has significant experience and accomplishments a summary works well. However, if a person is just out of college, or has only been in the profession for a few years, a summary statement will appear inappropriate and out of place, unless it contains genuine weight or substance. Sometimes referred to as an “ego” statement, these summaries are generally self-promotional in nature. Summary statements are more global in nature, often times referring to events extending beyond the qualifications needed for a specific job.. They usually use language containing adjectives and adverbs, and are always written in third person form, never use first person form. The following are examples:

Self-motivated visual artist who uses creativity and technical skills to produce engaging and attractive illustrations for prominent clients. Effective communicator with project manager skills and experience as a team leader.

Ten years experience as a successful, goal oriented illustrator and illustration project director. Productive self-starter with a strong work ethic, and a proven dedication to company status, client relationships, and account maintenance. Completely current with hardware and software used to produce and deliver illustration projects.

Detail-oriented illustration craftsman with a broad knowledge of traditional and digital media. Eight years experience as a creative, inventive, and resourceful visual problem-solver. Well versed in budgeting, estimating, presenting, and executing illustration concepts for a wide range of clients.

Statement of Goals

A statement of goals, also known as a statement of purpose, refers more to the types of experiences a person would like to gain in their future. It can be considered a wish list of goals. For the purposes of a resume, it should not be thought of as a statement of one’s ultimate goal in life, or career apex such as becoming an Owner, a President, or as financially wealthy as Bill Gates, etc. And a cautionary note, mentioning a goal that happens to be the job title of the person who may be interviewing you for a position should be avoided. A statement of goals works best when it references expertise or exposure that may also be goals for the company under consideration for employment. Here, it is appropriate to mention personal goals in regard to performance and desired achievement and recognition. A goals statement may also involve circumstances that are extraneous to a particular job listing. Here are a few examples:

It is my desire to acquire first-hand knowledge of all aspects pertaining to corporate illustration jobs and practices. I wish to work as part of a problem-solving team for a company to produce award-winning illustrations for clients.

My career goal is to produce illustrations for nationally established clients, and to have my work internationally recognized for its quality and conceptual inventiveness by my peers. I wish to illustrate for the publishing, advertising, marketing, and design industries.

My number one goal is to author and illustrate children’s books for major publishing companies. It is also my wish to collaborate with established authors of children’s books to provide the illustrated content for their stories.


This portion of a resume is so overlooked as a category that it doesn’t even appear on most resumes. However, a short section that lists interests provides an opportunity for a reviewer to learn something personal about an applicant. An interest section can be extremely important because it helps personalize a resume. Interests may include serious hobbies, organized sports activities, membership in clubs and organizations, fraternities and sororities, volunteer work, etc.

There have been many instances where one job candidate is chosen over another due to their interests. Here are a few examples:

An employer who requires employees to perform a certain amount of community service per month, offered a job to an applicant because of her volunteer work with a particular organization.

A design job applicant, who was the Captain on his collegiate golf team, was hired to fill a position as a visual designer with a firm, which coincidentally, participated in a competitive golf league.

A graduate who was a member of a DELTA PHI EPSILON (ΔΦΕ) sorority was interviewed and hired by an art director who, when she was in college, also happened to be member of a different chapter of the same Greek organization.

These types of coincidences happen more frequently than anyone would expect, so the potential of an interest section on a resume should not be ignored.