Writing an effective resume headline or title can help increase your chances of getting noticed.
Resume headlines often go unattended, but the truth is, a strong, catchy headline or title can really help you stand out from other job applicants.
Seems easy enough, right? Well, job seekers have got to write an effective one, and sometimes this can be difficult. Below, you'll find resume headline examples, plus simple tips to help you write your own.
What is a resume headline or title?
A resume headline (also known as a resume title) is one line that sums up your relevant skills and professional experiences located beneath your name and personal information; you can think of it as a summary of your resume summary. It shouldn't be a complete sentence — just several words no more than a line long.
An effective resume headline catches the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers who are likely skimming a stack of resumes during the job search. Plus, if you include specific keywords and phrases, it could help you beat the resume bots and make you stand out.
Here are some examples:
Resume headline examples by industry
The best way to understand resume headlines is to see a few examples.
Meticulous CPA with more than 8 years of experience in corporate taxes
Diligent controller with more than 4 years of substantially reducing errors
Bilingual customer service representative with high customer satisfaction rate
Enthusiastic customer service representative with a focus in retail
Committed environmental engineer with 6 years in waste-water treatment
Analytics civil engineer with a focus in electrical power lines
Proven media-buyer with 4+ years managing $2 million in annual advertising spend
Quick-witted copywriter with 3+ years working with restaurants in 50+ markets
Compassionate RN registered in Florida with a strong emphasis in pediatrics
Awarded nurse licensed in California with 5+ years of emergency room experience
IT project manager with 6+ years overseeing website with 5 million monthly views
Senior project manager with 3+ years focused in construction scheduling
Personable sales representative who consistently exceeds target goals
Senior sales executive with experience in auto and home insurance
Passionate journalism student with a passion for telling stories
Honors early childhood education major with hands-on classroom experience
Innovative IT manager with a proven track record of hitting deadlines
Reliable quality assurance specialist with 3+ years of experience
How to write a resume headline
Now that you have some examples of resume headlines, it's time to write your own. Keep these tips in mind as you craft the perfect one-liner for your resume:
1. Use specific words and phrases
As previously mentioned, your resume headline is a great opportunity to include specific keywords relevant to the job posting. This not only can help you stand out, but it can also help your resume rank higher in companies' applicant-tracking systems (aka the resume bots).
To determine the best keywords to include in a good resume headline, study the job listing. Which adjectives and nouns are used to describe the ideal candidate? Are specific certifications or experiences required? If so, consider including those in your resume headline.
2. Customize it for each job application
Because each job is different, it's important to carefully consider your resume headline when applying to different positions. Look through each job opening and consider the required skills, experiences, certifications, and soft skills. If applicable, highlight those in your resume headline.
3. Avoid overused adjectives
Using an adjective in your resume headline can help you stand out, but avoid overused words, like hard-working, detail-oriented, innovative, and creative. Instead, use attention-grabbing adjectives, like instrumental, energetic, robust, imaginative, exhaustive, or responsive.
If you need inspiration, Google “powerful resume adjectives.”
4. Show — don't tell
Instead of using your resume headline to “tell” the reader you're an effective sales representative, show it with awards, numbers, or certifications.
Here are some examples:
Personable sales representative who consistently exceeds target goals by 30%
Seasoned Facebook ad copywriter with average click-through rates 2%+
Certified Professional Scrum Master III with 98% customer satisfaction rate
Even just listing your years of experience can be a more impactful way to showcase the value you bring to a job.
5. Make your headline stand out
Finally, it's important to make sure your strong resume headline stands out — literally. Leverage your resume's design to highlight your headline or title. It shouldn't be as big or as bold as your name at the top of the page, but it should be one of the first things the hiring manager sees before scanning down to your resume summary.
Want help crafting an impressive resume headline? A professional resume review is a good start.