Eye-tracking studies have shown recruiters view each resume for an average of seven seconds before moving on. After conducting our own research, it became clear that resumes cannot be accurately judged in such a short amount of time.
If you want your resume to receive a fair evaluation, write a resume headline. Adding a prominent resume headline will catch the hiring manager’s attention — ensuring your resume isn’t discarded during the selection process.
In this article, we will:
- Explain what a resume headline is
- Give examples of strong resume headlines
- Show you how to write a good headline for your resume
What is a Resume Headline?
A resume headline is a brief phrase found near the top of your resume or in your resume header that summarizes your skills and experience and contains keywords relevant to the job listing.
It is also referred to as a resume title, profile title, or resume tagline, and can be the difference between a resume that catches the eye of the hiring manager and one that gets tossed in the trash.
The aim of a resume headline is to quickly tell recruiters if an applicant is a good fit for the job. It should also encourage whoever reads your resume to keep reading.
Resume headlines fit on a single line (unlike resume summaries and profiles, which are a paragraph or set of bullet points).
Furthermore, it can stand alone, or act as a title above a summary or profile.
Also, a resume headline is not a resume objective. Although both are short phrases found near the top of the resume, resume headlines focus on what you’ve done, while a resume objective focuses on the type of job you want to obtain.
Keep reading for some good resume headline examples, and learn how to write your own strong resume title.
25 Resume Headline Examples
We’ve put together 25 good resume headline examples across multiple industries in this section, so you can get some ideas for your own resume title.
Each of these headlines gives a quick yet impressive summary of the applicant.
Accounting & Finance
- Detail-Oriented Certified Public Accountant Specializing in Small Businesses
- Senior Financial Controller with 10 Years’ Executive Experience
- Honors Finance Student and Top-Rated Bank Intern
- Part-Time Tax Preparer Skilled in Multiple Tax Preparation Software Packages
- Financial Analyst with Bank and Insurance Experience
Business & Management
- Organized Project Manager and Part-Time MBA Student
- Communicative Office Manager with Extensive Software Knowledge
- Straight-A Business Major and Chamber of Commerce Volunteer
- Marine Veteran with 15 Years of Leadership Experience
- Professional Writer Specializing in Business Proposals and Grants
Customer Service & Retail
- Bilingual Call Center Agent with 8 Years of Experience
- Outgoing Retail Associate Well-Versed in Men’s Fashion
- Warehouse Manager with 15 Years of Forklift Experience
- Friendly, Reliable Cashier and Bagger
- Bank Branch Manager and Business Management Student
- Award-Winning Chemical Engineering Researcher
- Expert Software Engineer Knowledgeable in Python and C++
- PE-Licensed Mechanical Engineer with Oil Industry Experience
- Graduate Engineering Student and Published Research Assistant
- DOT Structural Engineer Experienced in Bridge Evaluation
Marketing & Sales
- Top-Grossing Medical Device Sales Representative
- Friendly B2B Sales Rep Who Exceeds Targets by 30%
- Marketing Student with Direct Mail Marketing Experience
- Online Marketer Responsible for $500,000+ in Yearly Sales
- Non-Profit Social Media Specialist with 10 Years of Experience
How to Write a Good Resume Title
There are some simple rules to remember when you write your resume headline.
1. Use Capitals
A resume headline is a title, so it should be written with most words capitalized. The first word of a title is always in upper case. Nouns, verbs, and adjectives should also be capitalized.
Some words are generally not in upper case in a title. These include short words that are not nouns, verbs, or adjectives. Here are some words that aren’t usually capitalized in a title (unless they are the first word):
- a, an, the
- and, but, or, so
- at, from, in, on, out, of, to, with
2. Avoid Cliches
Use detailed adjectives and information that applies specifically to you, not to everyone applying for the job. A generic resume headline describing you with overused resume words like “skilled,” “motivated,” or “hard-working” won’t do much to make you stand out.
3. Keep It Short
Shorter is better when it comes to resume headlines. You want to catch the reader’s attention quickly. The best resume headline is short and snappy — if it’s too long, the hiring manager might not read all of it.
Try to keep your resume headline between 1 and 2 lines. Once it spills onto a third line, it becomes more of a summary than headline. If you have more to say, include a resume summary or profile beneath your short resume headline.
4. Include an Achievement or Quantifiable Data
Include details specific to you in the resume headline. An achievement or accomplishment backed up with quantifiable data makes your headline less generic and more impressive. Professional accomplishments include degrees, licenses, certifications, and specific experiences.
Examples of quantifiable data include:
- Years of experience
- Number of awards won
- Dollar amount of sales made
- Amount of product sold
- Number of people managed
5. Use Keywords from the Job Posting
Keywords in a job posting tell you exactly what the hiring company wants in an applicant. Don’t be afraid to use them! Make sure they apply to you first, of course.
Recruiters and hiring managers scan resumes for certain keywords. Sometimes, computer software, known as an applicant tracking system (ATS), scans resumes for certain keywords. If your resume contains the words they are searching for, you will be more likely to receive a job interview.
A well-written resume headline will get you noticed. A resume headline can stand alone near the top of a resume, or as a title for the resume summary or resume profile.
For a resume design and style that stands out, download one of our free resume templates. Your application will have an especially polished look when your resume is paired with its matching cover letter template.
If you’re in a hurry, our resume builder is another free option at your disposal. Use it to create an eye-catching resume in under five minutes.