A resume header is the first thing a recruiter will look at on your resume.
If you get it wrong, they’ll just discard your resume immediately, even if you’re the most qualified person in the world.
Because it’s the introduction to your resume.
If you mess this up, you’re already leaving a bad impression.
Imagine you’re applying for a job as a Data Analyst and your resume header says you’re a “Mechanical Engineer”.
They’ll drop your resume in a heartbeat.
Luckily, writing a resume header is easy.
And in this article, we’re going to cover how to create a job-winning resume header, what to include within, and some of the best practices you should keep in mind.
Ready? Let’s begin.
What Goes On a Resume Header?
First, your resume header should include your:
- Full name.
- Job/Professional title.
- (Optional) Resume Summary or Objective
- Phone number.
- Email address.
Now, here’s how to write each section, starting with...
Your name is the first thing that you write in your resume header.
Make sure to use the same name you use across all online profiles (that you want the hiring manager to know about).
For example, if you use “Jonathan” in your LinkedIn profile, don’t use Jon on your resume.
The standard practice is: First Name, Last Name.
- Jonathan Doe
- Johnny Doe
This one is pretty obvious.
What title does the job ad say?
Mention that below your name, word-for-word.
- Digital Marketing Specialist
- Graphic Designer and Writer
Do NOT use fancy buzzword job names.
“Code Ninja, Marketing Samurai, Design Guru,” and the like.
Sure, these sound cool, but no one actually knows what they mean.
(Optional) Resume Summary or Objective
Within your resume header, you can also include either a resume summary or an objective.
These optional sections are there for the hiring manager to get a general idea of who you are, and why you’re the best person for the job.
If they see that you’re relevant in a few words, they’ll want to continue reading.
So, if you decide to include them, here’s the difference between the two:
- Resume Summary - Sums up your previous work experience and explains how it can benefit the company you want to work for.
- Resume Objective - Describes your professional goals for the job you’re applying for. Unlike the resume summary, you don’t include work experience here, so it’s perfect for a no experience resume, or a career change resume.
Here’s a quick example for both:
- Project manager with a proven track record of working with tech and software development teams using agile and waterfall methodologies. Managed 5+ teams of software projects over the last 3 years and have a basic understanding of several programming languages (Java, React, NodeJS).
Psst. Are you a project manager? Check out our guide on how to create a project manager resume.
- Recent graduate with a B.A. in Marketing looking to start my career in advertising at Agency X. Strong copywriting and design skills, mixed with a creative mind. Practical experience of designing social media ads (Facebook, Instagram), while working as a social media marketing intern at Company Y.
The main thing the hiring manager wants to know here is if you’re in their area, or if they’ll have to sponsor your relocation.
Hiring managers typically prefer people near their company. But if you really want to make it clear you’re willing to move, you can mention that you’re open to relocation.
To keep things simple, you should only mention your country, and city (in that order).
What you DON’T have to do, though, is to list your exact address. The recruiter does not care where you live.
- Denmark, Copenhagen (open to relocation).
- Copenhagen, H. C. Andersen Blvd. 7, 1553, second floor...
A phone number still remains the most common way for hiring managers to set up interviews.
When listing your number, make sure you:
- List the one you use the most.
- Have a decent voice mail message (And not: “heeey, Kyle here, if you’re hearing this, I’m probably drunk or something, haha”).
- Include your country code, if applying outside your country.
- Do NOT include your work number.
- +45 11442233
Right after your phone number, email is the #2 most common way for hiring managers to reach you.
The #1 tip here is that your email should always be professional and easy-to-read.
The standard email format is [FirstName][LastName]@gmail.com.
And if that’s taken, using a first or last initial is okay.
How to Make Your Resume Header Stand Out
Now, you can stop here and you’ll probably be fine.
That’s what most people do.
But if you want to stand out from the thousands of other candidates with your resume, here’s what else you can add to your resume header...
If you have an online portfolio or a personal website that’s relevant to your job - feel free to include it in your header.
Make sure it’s up to date and doesn’t have anything too personal that could get you in trouble with the HR.
If your job deals with online work (marketing, IT, design, etc.), your site can be a great way to show off your achievements.
You should only include your Twitter profile if you have a professional profile, and it’s relevant to your position.
In very specific cases (e.g. marketing and journalism positions), your profile can help you come across as an expert on the subject, especially if you have a decent amount of followers.
Otherwise, if you use Twitter to express personal opinions that don’t have anything to do with your job - it’s best to keep it off.
Like with Twitter, relevance is key here.
Applying for a design position and have your portfolio on Behance? Go for it!
But if you’re applying for a finance role, the hiring manager will be very confused as to why you included it.
Have a lot of followers and upvotes within your specific field?
You can then go ahead and include your Quora profile.
This can convince the HR manager you’re really the go-to expert on your topic.
This is only for developers, coders, and computer scientists.
If that sounds like you and you have completed a lot of coding projects, feel free to link your GitHub profile in your resume.
Got a YouTube channel? A personal blog? Something else?
Use your discretion to decide if it’s relevant to your job position.
Just make sure you don’t have anything too personal on there!
Resume Headers Done Right - 5 Resume Header Examples
Looking for further inspiration?
Check out these 5 resume headers from job-winning resumes and see how they get it right.
Business Development Resume Header Example
Work in biz-dev? Check out our article on how to make a Business Development Manager Resume!
Computer Scientist Resume Header Example
If you need to write a computer science resume, your header information should focus on two main things:
- Your contact information, so your employer can contact you.
- Your coding / project portfolio.
And here’s when your GitHub and LinkedIn profiles come into play.
Here’s what that might look like:
There’s more to creating a computer science resume than just the header. Check out our dedicated guide!
Digital Marketing Specialist Resume Header Example
As a marketer, you probably have a natural talent for communication and understanding what makes a person buy a product.
So, you should already be selling yourself starting from your resume header, like so -
For more tips and tricks on how to create a marketing manager resume, check out our article!
Sales Associate Resume Header Example
For more on how to make a sales associate resume, head over to our dedicated guide.
No Experience Resume Header Example
Are you a student looking to break into the workforce but have little to no experience?
Here’s how you might start your resume:
No-experience resumes can be tough - you don’t have any experience, what are you supposed to include? Find out the answer in your student resume guide.
The HR manager only needs a few seconds to decide if they’re going to read your full resume or not.
So, the goal of your resume header is to catch their attention and get them to continue reading the rest of your resume.
Follow these important steps to make sure your resume header is on point:
- When designing your professional resume header, make sure you include all the essential details, such as: your full name, job title, resume summary or objective (optional), location, phone number, and email address.
- When writing each section, make sure everything is accurate and relevant to the job position.
- If you want to stand out from other candidates, consider including other online profiles that show your previous achievements and overall expertise on the subject.
- Finally, if you’re looking for real-world resume header inspiration, you can use the 5 examples above to get an idea of what the resume header might look like within your job field.
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