If we were to compare your resume to an online article, your name would be the author and the resume headline would be...
You guessed it: the article headline.
It’s what makes the reader click on the article in the first place because they want to know more about the issue.
If you want to make recruiters “click” on your resume, a concise and impactful resume headline is what you should aim for.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to achieve just that!
We’ll talk about:
- What’s a resume headline & why it’s important
- How to write an effective resume headline
- 31+ resume headline examples to take inspiration from
What’s a Resume Headline & Why It’s Important?
Article comparisons aside, a resume headline is a catchy one-liner that highlights your experience and skills, briefly introducing you to the recruiter.
Why is it so important?
Well, typically recruiters skim over each resume for a brief 7 seconds only and then decide if it’s going to the “rejection” or “maybe” pile of resumes.
Your goal is to not only make it to the “maybe” pile but also to convince the recruiter you’re a top candidate.
Your resume headline basically dishes your skills out and shows the recruiter you’re relevant for the position right away.
If it’s written the right way, it will encourage them to read further.
That said, there’s also another awesome advantage of using a resume header:
It will help get your resume past an Applicant Tracking System.
An Applicant Tracking System, or ATS in short, is the recruiters’ best friend. It’s a type of software that scans the resumes of all applicants and sends the recruiter only the “matches”.
About 75% of applicants are rejected through this process alone!
So, how does the software work? Well, ATS scans your resume, looking for relevant keywords and experiences. If it doesn’t find them, the resume is automatically rejected.
Having a good resume headline, though, helps prevent this, as the software can immediately see your professional title and identify that you’re relevant for the job.
There’s a lot more to passing Applicant Tracking Systems than just a good resume headline. To learn more, check out our (free) resources:
Resume Headline VS Resume Title - What’s the Difference?
Before we teach you how to write a compelling resume headline, here’s a quick memo:
A resume headline is not the same thing as a resume title.
Both of them need to be carefully written and targeted to the job position, but they have their differences.
While a resume title simply states your professional title, a resume headline also mentions your skills and years of experience.
To make things clearer, let’s say you’re an HR specialist applying for an HR manager’s position. Your title would be:
- Human Resources Specialist
Whereas, your resume headline would be:
- HR specialist with 4+ years of experience in helping medium to large corporations hire IT professionals.
How to Write a Resume Headline
The fact that it’s so short makes writing a resume headline both easy and hard.
You only have to sit down and write a few words, BUT those few words have to be well-thought and spot-on.
Although there’s no set rule on how a headline should look, the structure below has become pretty standard:
Job Title + Years of Experience + Skill/Specific Task/Impressive Achievement
Get that right and you’re already halfway towards a perfect resume headline!
For that other 50%, keep in mind the following tips:
- Keep it short. The point of the header itself is to give a concise statement that can be read in a matter of seconds. If it’s longer than a catchy one sentence, it turns into a resume objective or resume summary.
- Place it right. Your resume headline should be the first thing to come right after your name and surname. It is an introduction to everything else on your resume, after all.
- Use title case and a slightly larger font than the rest of the text. Your resume headline should stand out. Make sure it’s not too exaggerated or flashy, though.
- Use action verbs and power words instead of overused terms like “motivated” or “team-player”. Stick to concrete skills that you can support with your experiences.
- Present over future. This is not the place to talk about your career goals, so focus on what you currently do and what you have achieved so far.
- 1-2 skills max. You should leave the rest for the skills section and only mention your top skill/s that also match what the job you’re applying for requires.
- If you’re a recent graduate with no work experience, focus on your top skills and proficiencies, as well as any impressive extracurricular experience.
- On the same note, if you only have around 1 or 2 years of experience, we’d recommend focusing more on your achievements and skills instead of experiences.
- New job, new headline. Since it’s the first thing the recruiter reads on your resume, make sure it’s targeted to the position you are applying for.
- Write many and pick one. For each application, write down a few versions of your headline, check how they look and sound, and pick the one that seems like the best way to describe yourself.
31+ Resume Headline Examples
Still not sure how to write an effective resume headline?
Don’t worry - we’ve got your back!
Get inspired from the resume headline examples below!
- Supply chain manager with 6+ years of experience in steering large-scale manufacturing environments.
- Engineer specialized in machine learning and data mining.
- History graduate with internship experience as art curator.
- Marketing executive that has helped generate $500k+ in revenue.
- Office assistant with years of experience in fast-paced work environments.
- Multilingual sales associate with 2+ years of experience in retail.
- Seasoned copywriter and google ads specialist.
- Experienced marketing director and mba candidate.
- E-commerce senior developer with 6+ years of experience in creating, managing, and maintaining databases.
- Experienced restaurant manager in overseeing operations of highly-frequented restaurants with a staff of 20+ people.
- Legal professional with 3+ years of experience in paralegal work.
- Business student and founder of x university's sustainability club.
- Pharmacist with 12+ years in the pharmaceutical service industry.
- Videographer and winner of Netflix short documentary competition fund.
- Recent engineering graduate with work experience as teaching assistant.
- Computer scientist with professional experience in cybersecurity.
- Seasoned chef with experience in two Michelin star restaurants.
- Dynamic barista with 4+ years of experience in customer service.
- Financial planner with deep understanding and experience in investment banking practices.
- Senior accountant providing cost reduction strategies for a diverse range of clientele.
- Data analyst with 4+ years of experience in the marketing analytics field.
- Business development manager with experience in managing projects with an annual budget of over $2-3.
- Experienced cashier providing efficient and accurate service in the food industry.
- Biology high school teacher with 10+ years of experience in teaching.
- Graphic designer with experience in designing over 30 different websites from start to finish.
- Project manager with a background in computer science and focus on software projects.
- Financial consultant with experience in mentoring and helping startups raise funding.
- Sales associate with a long track record of hitting & exceeding KPIs.
- Store manager experienced in supervising teams of 10+ associates.
- Library science graduate with internship experience as book acquisitor and organizer.
- Content writer with 5+ years of experience in creating high-quality SEO content.
- Honors graduate with experience in website development using java and python.
And that’s about it on resume headlines!
Once you’ve created several variations of your resume headline, you’ll discover that it’s actually pretty easy!
Before you start working on your headline, though, let’s go over the main points we covered in this article:
- A resume headline is a concise introduction to your work experience, skills, and professional background.
- Having a good headline will encourage recruiters to look deeply into your resume.
- A resume headline can also allow you to bypass applicant tracking systems & ensure that your CV gets read by a recruiter.
- When writing your headline use the following structure: Job Title + Work Experience + Skill/Achievement.
Now it’s time to get creative and write down some headlines!