Is there any difference between "Aim" and "Goal"?
I often seen while filling the Resume or Bio-data, there were two fields as:


3 Answers 3


In general, aim, goal, objective can be considered synonyms, but consider these Google Books results:

long-term aim 197,000; short-term aim 32,500
long-term goal 255,000; short-term goal 471,000
long-term objective 115,000; short-term objective 161,000

I think what that tells us is that aims tend to be more general, vague, non-specific, long-term, compared to goals, which are more likely to be specific, short-term targets (objectives are somewhere in between, or more accurately, they simply have no relationship with this distinction).

Thus, you're more likely to have a long-term strategic aim/objective which is broken down into component goals in pursuit of that aim, rather than a goal which is achieved by meeting several subsidiary aims. But this distinction is nowhere near a "rule", and few would see anything odd in reversing the usages.

In the context of a resume or curriculum vitae, I'd probably use objective, if for no other reason than it sounds a bit more formal/professional.

EDIT: Regarding the point about goals being more associated with short-term aims, I think it's worth pointing out that a goal in ball/puck game contexts (soccer, say) is just one step towards the aim / objective (to win the game). A bit like Winning the battle not the war.

  • 1
    I'd probably use objective But that has a different meaning. Objectives are concrete goals/aims, whereas goals and aims can less specific. Always be careful using 'fancy' English, because words often have a slightly different connotation.
    – Sanchises
    Oct 27, 2014 at 12:18
  • @sanchises: I'm not aware of that distinction. If there were any truth to the idea that objectives are more (or indeed, less) "concrete" than aims or goals I'd expect that to be reflected in Google Ngrams for either our [overall | specific] [aim | goal | objective]. But in fact, objective sits right between aim and goal, regardless of whether it's specific or overall. None of these terms are "fancy" though - it's just that goal is a bit more informal, and objective is a bit more military/corporate. Oct 27, 2014 at 12:56

From my computer dictionary(WordWeb):


  1. The state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behaviour intended to achieve it
  2. The place designated as the end


  1. Move into a desired direction of discourse
  2. Intend (something) to move towards a certain goal
  3. The action of directing something at an object
  • 7
    But this compares goal, a noun, with the verb aim rather than the noun aim. Mar 12, 2013 at 10:47

Goal is the target that I want to achieve

Example: I wish to become an engineer.

Aim is determined course I set to achieve my target

Example: I plan to get B.E. degree to become an engineer.

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