No matter the position you’re applying for, one thing is for certain: with so much competition, catching the hiring manager’s attention is tough.
For this reason, you need to show them right away that you’re the right candidate for the position. Otherwise, you can rest assured that your resume will go straight into their trash bin.
So, how do you do that?It's easy—just write a captivating resume headline to show off the highlights of your career!
Keep reading to find out exactly how to do that.
A resume headline is a phrase that neatly summarizes your professional background with the aim of capturing the hiring manager’s attention.
To write an eye-catching resume headline, you should keep it brief, tailor it to the position, and avoid abstract, overused words.
The main difference between a resume headline, a resume title, and a resume profile is how detailed they are.
A resume title is simply your professional title, a resume headline combines your resume title and your key career highlights into one sentence, and a resume profile gives a more detailed overview of your work history.
A good example of a resume headline is: Social Media Manager Who Helped 2 Small Businesses Double Their Instagram Follower Count In 9 Months
A bad example of a resume headline is: Creative social media guru experienced in helping brands grow huge social media followings
What Is a Resume Headline & Why Do You Need One?
Simply put, a resume headline is a single-sentence summary of your professional background and career highlights that goes under your contact information section. Typically, it underlines your industry-related experience, skills, and achievements.
You may be wondering if you need to add a resume headline to your resume. No matter whether you’re a seasoned professional or a recent graduate with no work experience, the answer remains the same—yes!
If you’re a candidate with years of industry experience, a resume headline allows you to condense your work history into a punchy sentence.
Meanwhile, if you have little to no work experience, it can help you instantly show the recruiter that you have relevant skills.
So, whatever the case may be, a resume headline works wonders when it comes to pitching yourself to the hiring manager!
On top of that, there are two more reasons why using a resume headline is important to the success of your job application:
Reasons to Use a Resume Headline
Makes your resume more ATS-friendly. Recruiters receive around 250 job applications for each open position. To make their jobs easier, many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS). If your resume can’t pass their scan, it will be rejected before even reaching the hands of the hiring manager. Luckily, adding relevant keywords to your resume headline can help you pass the ATS check!
Shows off your expertise. Once your resume passes the ATS scan, you’re met with another challenge—securing the recruiter’s attention. A memorable first impression is vital to your job hunt, as recruiters spend just 7.4 seconds on average on each resume. By encapsulating your professional background into a one-liner, a resume headline lets recruiters identify you as a viable candidate straight away!
How to Write an Attention-Grabbing Resume Headline in 2023
Resume headlines pack a lot of value in a few words, so how can you make sure that yours stands out and captures the recruiter’s attention? Well, it’s not as difficult as you may think!
In a nutshell, you need to mention 3 things to write an impactful resume headline:
Mandatory Resume Headline Information
Your professional title
Your years of experience
A relevant skill or achievement
And, to take your resume headline to the next level, here’s what you need to remember:
How to Make your Resume Headline Stand Out
Tailor your resume headline to each job. Write a customized resume headline for each new position you’re applying for. If the job requires a license, for example, make sure to mention it. Moreover, add keywords from the job listing to make your resume headline ATS-friendly and relevant.
Make it snappy. One sentence is all it takes to write an attention-grabbing resume headline, so don’t go overboard with it. The key is ensuring that each word adds value. And, rather than listing all of your skills, stick to 1-2 most relevant skills.
Ensure it stands out. You want your resume headline to be the first thing the hiring manager notices. The best way to do it is to use capital letters, a 1-3 pt larger font, and place it right below your contact information.
Avoid buzzwords. To make your resume headline stand out, avoid abstract and overused buzzwords (e.g., multi-tasker, guru, etc.). Instead, take advantage of resume action words and let your achievements and skills do the talking (for example, “exceeded sales targets by 35%” sounds more impressive than “results-oriented go-getter”).
Mention your experience. If you’re an experienced professional, take advantage of it and mention your years of industry-related experience. If you don’t have work experience, focus primarily on your skills, achievements, and other qualifications.
Resume Headline Tip
Don’t rush into writing your resume headline! To get it just right, write down a few different versions of it and choose the one that sounds the most impressive.
Resume Headline vs. Resume Title vs. Resume Profile: What’s the Difference?
Before we take a look at resume headline examples, there’s one question we need to address—is a resume headline, a resume title, and a resume profile one and the same?
The short answer is no—these are three different things, and here’s why:
Resume Headline vs. Resume Title vs. Resume Profile
Resume headline. As mentioned above, a resume headline is a catchy one-sentence synopsis of your career highlights.
Resume title. A resume title is simply another phrase for your professional title. Unlike a resume headline and a resume profile, it doesn’t mention your skills, achievements, or years of experience.
Resume profile. Also known as a resume summary, a resume profile is a short paragraph that summarizes your professional background and its key details. Depending on your experience, your resume summary can be 2-5 sentences long.
In other words, both resume headlines and profiles mention the resume title. Moreover, a resume profile is more extensive and detailed than a resume headline, which is meant to be short and snappy.
To help you better understand the differences between a resume title, headline, and profile, here’s an example for an engineering position:
Resume title: Environmental Engineer
Resume headline: Environmental Engineer With 12+ Years of Experience in Soil Investigations
Resume profile: Dedicated Environmental Engineer with 12+ years of experience and a background in soil and geotechnical engineering. Specialized in soil investigations and chemical testing. Skilled in project management, budgeting, and reporting. Provided expert consultations for 40+ companies in North America, Europe, and Asia.
51+ Effective Resume Headline Examples for Different Jobs
Looking for some inspiration?
Check out these 53 resume headline examples for different industries, from sales to engineering and beyond!
5 Business & Management Resume Headline Examples
Business Analyst With 6+ Years of E-Commerce Strategy Development Experience
Bilingual Business Administration Student With a 3.95 GPA
PHR-Certified Human Resource Manager Who Improved Employee Retention By 21%
Marketing Manager With 11 Years of Experience Who Helped a Non-Profit Organization Win the Drum Marketing Award
Insightful Business Advisor Who Helped 3 Sustainable Fashion Brands Double Their Profits
6 Sales Resume Headline Examples
Dynamic Sales Associate Who Exceeded Monthly Sales KPIs For 2 Consecutive Years
Retail Manager With 10+ Years of Retail Experience
Innovative Sales Engineer Who Boosted Company X’s Profits By 35%
Driven Real Estate Agent Who Closed 14 $1M+ Deals in One Year
Inside Sales Representative With Robust Negotiation Skills and 3+ Years of Experience in Customer Service
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative With 2+ Years of Experience in Sales
5 Customer Support Resume Headline Examples
Energetic Customer Service Representative With 3+ Years of Experience in B2C Customer Support
Solution-Oriented Technical Support Representative With a Computer Programming Background
Inspiring Customer Support Team Lead Who Increased Employee Turnover by 23% In 10 Months
Customer Service Manager With 7+ Years of Experience Managing Teams of 10+ Employees
Multilingual Call Center Agent With a 98% Average Customer Satisfaction Rate
5 IT Resume Headline Examples
IT Technician with 3+ Years of Database Programming Experience
Web Developer with 12+ Years of Experience In Enterprise Web Application Development
Attentive IT Support Specialist Specializing In B2B SaaS Products
Certified IT Security Analyst Who Prevented 150+ Security Breaches
5 Marketing Resume Headline Examples
Social Media Manager Who Boosted Company X’s Brand Awareness By 73%
Digital Marketer With 2+ Years of PPC and Email Marketing Experience
Passionate SEO Content Writer with a Medical Background
Marketing Executive Who Increased Company X’s Client Base By 15%
SEO Specialist Who Tripled Company X’s Monthly Organic Reach In 2 Years
5 Design Resume Headline Examples
Graphic Designer Specializing In E-Commerce Website Layouts and Product Illustrations
UX Designer Passionate About Inclusive Web Design
Devoted Photographer With 7+ Years of Experience in Commercial Photography
Interior Designer With 4+ Years of Minimalist and Contemporary Interior Design Experience
Animator With 5+ Years of Experience in 3D Modeling
6 Healthcare Resume Headline Examples
Newly-Certified Nursing Assistant With Volunteer Experience in Addiction Treatment Centers
Professional Physical Therapist With 13+ Years of Experience Treating Sports-Related Injuries
Organized Medical Assistant Who Decreased Procedure Setup Time By 15%
Speech-Language Pathologist With 4+ Years of Experience in Swallowing and Child Language Disorders
Board-Certified Psychiatrist Experienced in Treating Patients With Mood and Personality Disorders
Certified Dietitian With 18+ Years of Experience in Helping Patients Manage Type 2 Diabetes
5 Engineering Resume Headline Examples
Recent Mechanical Engineering Graduate Proficient in AutoCAD and 3D Modeling
Civil Engineer With 6+ Years of Experience and a Track Record of Completing Large-Scale Projects Under Budget
Collaborative Software Engineer Specializing in VR Game Development
Electrical Engineer With 3+ Years of Experience in Renewable Energy Systems
Innovative Chemical Engineer Who Reduced Industrial Waste By 63%
5 Finance & Accounting Resume Headline Examples
Bank Teller With 2+ Years of Experience and 95%+ Customer Satisfaction Rating
Junior Accountant With a Background in Project Management
Financial Analyst Who Helped 3 International Companies Reduce Their Expenses By 35%+
Meticulous Data Entry Clerk Awarded “Employee of the Year” In 2020 and 2021
Senior Tax Accountant With 8+ Years In Preparing Tax Returns For Large Enterprises
6 Hospitality Resume Headline Examples
Multilingual Hotel Receptionist With 5+ Years of Hospitality Experience
Housekeeping Manager Who Increased Department’s Efficiency By 17%
People-Oriented Flight Attendant With 2+ Years of Experience on Transatlantic Flights
Award-Winning Pastry Chef With 7+ Years of Experience Working in Michelin Green Star Restaurants
EBS-Certified Mixologist and Bar Manager
Knowledgeable City Tour Guide With a 5-Star Rating on TripAdvisor
FAQs About Resume Headlines
#1. What is a good headline for a resume?
In short, a good resume headline is tailored to the position you’re applying for and highlights your skills and experience in a single sentence. Ideally, it should mention your professional title, years of experience (if applicable), and skills or accomplishments.
#2. What is a catchy headline?
A catchy resume headline immediately captures the recruiter’s attention and convinces them to take a closer look at your resume.
To write a catchy resume headline, mention your top achievement and make it quantifiable or, in other words, use numbers to drive your point home.
For example, “Project Manager With 7 Years of Experience Delivering High-Quality Projects On Time and 10%+ Under Budget” is a catchy headline for a resume.
#3. How can I make my headline attractive?
Follow these tips to make your headline attractive:
Resume Headline Tips
Keep it one sentence long.
Mention relevant skills and/or a professional achievement you’re most proud of.
Use title case and a larger font.
Put it below your contact information.
#4. Why is a resume headline important?
A resume headline is important because it allows you to present a summary of your professional background in one punchy phrase. Moreover, it can help you pass the ATS check and show the hiring manager that your resume is worth their attention in just a couple of seconds!
#5. What are common resume headline mistakes?
The most common resume headline mistakes include:
Common Resume Headline Mistakes
Using the same resume headline for all positions without tailoring it
Writing a resume headline that’s longer than one sentence
Mentioning your future goals and aspirations instead of your skills and achievements
Using overused buzzwords and abstract phrases (e.g., hard-working ninja in charge of outside-the-box solutions).
And now you know everything you need to write a catchy resume headline!
The takeaway is that a well-written resume headline can aid you in your job hunt by helping you pass the ATS scan AND get the recruiter’s attention. Just remember to keep it short and tailored to the position you’re applying for!