How To Write Killer Resume Headlines (Examples Included)
Adding a resume headline can be the secret ingredient needed to spice up your resume. Discover what a resume headline and how you can use one on your resume to make yourself more marketable. We’ve got example headlines too so don’t worry!
So, you’ve finally finished writing your resume! All those hours spent revising and reorganizing your accomplishments and qualifications will surely pay off, right?
Well, maybe not.
Hiring managers review tons of resumes everyday, which means they only have so much time to look at each one. No matter how much effort you put into perfecting yours, if it doesn’t grab the hiring manager’s attention within the first few seconds, it could end up in the trash.
One way to protect your resume from this unfortunate fate is by including a resume headline.
This article will show you examples of excellent resume headlines and provide you with the knowledge and guidance you need to write one of your own.
If you aren’t totally comfortable with resume headlines after reading through the article or just don’t think you are doing yourself justice with your resume, keep in mind our resume writing services are always available at your finger tips.
What is a Resume Headline?
Simple: a resume headline is a brief description of who you are as a professional.
It should succinctly summarize your career and highlight an impressive achievement or credential you possess.
Your resume headline belongs at the top of your resume underneath your name and contact info.
It should be capitalized and contain keywords and language relevant to the job posting to which you’re responding.
Unlike an objective statement, a resume headline should fit on a single line so it can be easily skimmed by hiring managers. The goal is to catch their eye and get them to keep reading.
How To Write a Resume Headline
Writing a resume headline is fairly straightforward, but there are a few important rules you should follow to ensure that yours has the desired effect.
1. Speak The Hiring Manager’s Language
Most job postings clearly list the preferred qualifications that a competitive candidate should have.
Ideally, you want your resume headline to include one or more of those specific qualifications.
If the job posting says applicants should have experience with Python, for example, your resume headline might read “Innovative Software Engineer Well-Versed in Python”.
Using the same terminology as the hiring manager will help you grab their attention. Plus, it will demonstrate that you actually read the job posting and are a serious applicant.
2. Highlight Quantifiable Achievements
You’re more than just a number—but including one in your resume headline can do wonders for your success rate when it comes to landing first interviews.
The more specific you can be in your resume headline (while still keeping things short and sweet), the more likely you are to impress a hiring manager and land that first interview.
Instead of just calling yourself a “Top-Performing Sales Rep,” for example, call yourself a “Top-Performing Sales Rep with 110% Lifetime Quota Attainment.” That extra quantifiable data point can go a long way.
Here are some other examples of good achievements to quantify in your resume headline:
- Years of experience
- Percentage of revenue growth
- Number of projects completed
- Dollar amount saved
If the above examples don’t apply to your profession, any quantifiable achievement will do as long as it is relevant and truthful.
3. Less is More
Remember, the whole reason you’re writing a resume headline is because hiring managers are short on time.
Don’t go overboard and stuff your headline with a laundry list of achievements, because it’s unlikely that hiring managers will read it.
Pick one or two achievements or credentials that are specific and relevant to the qualifications listed in the job posting and call it good.
Your resume headline shouldn’t exceed one or two lines, otherwise it defeats the purpose of having one in the first place.
4. Be Careful with Clichés
As mentioned in rule number two, specificity is key when it comes to writing a good resume headline.
This doesn’t just apply to numbers and quantifiable data, but the language you use as well.
Steer clear of vague or overused terms like “goal-oriented,” “ambitious,” or “motivated”. Words like these tell hiring managers very little about you and take up precious space in your resume headline.
Instead, try to use more descriptive adjectives that indicate your proficiency in a specific area. Terms like “tech-savvy” or “data-driven” are more interesting and speak to your unique professional identity.
5. Include Relevant Licenses and Certifications
Sometimes, when hiring managers are looking to fill a role that requires a specific certification, they might screen resumes for that certification and immediately disqualify any that don’t have it clearly displayed.
For this reason, it’s best to put any relevant licenses or certifications that you may have in your resume headline.
Hiring managers won’t be able to miss it if it’s at the very top of your resume, so your chances of being disqualified based on a cursory glance will be lower.
20 Killer Resume Headlines
- Office Manager: Tech-Savvy Office Manager with 10+ Years of Administrative Experience
- Sales Representative: Top-Performing Sales Rep with 110% Lifetime Quota Attainment
- Digital Marketer: Data-Driven Digital Marketer with SEO and Adwords Experience
- Software Engineer: Full-Stack Software Engineer Specializing in App Development
- High School Teacher: Certified High School Math Teacher with 15+ Years of Experience
- Nurse: Licensed RN with 25+ Years Experience in Oncology
- Architect: Innovative Architect and 2x Design Foundation Honoree
- Accountant: Client-Focused CPA Specializing in Wealth Management
- Business Analyst: Detail-Oriented Business Analyst Who Cut Operating Costs by 50%
- Financial Advisor: Sought-After Financial Advisor with 100% Client Satisfaction Rating
- Customer Service Representative: Bilingual Customer Service Rep and Team Leader
- Project Manager: Efficient Project Manager Who Increased Productivity by 200% YOY
- Graphic Designer: Graphic Designer with a Keen Eye and Award-Winning Portfolio
- Retail Associate: Personable Retail Associate and 2x Employee of the Month
- Executive Assistant: Reliable Executive Assistant with 5+ Years’ Experience in Film Industry
- Mechanical Engineer: Inventive Mechanical Engineer and Manager of 4-Person Team
- Technical Writer: Certified Technical Writer with 15+ Years’ Experience in Pharmaceuticals
- EMT: Certified EMT with 8 Years’ Experience Working Large-Scale Sporting Events
- Events Planner: In-Demand Event Planner and Entrepreneur Managing 20+ Projects Per Year
- Journalist: Senior Political Correspondent and Award-Winning Opinion Columnist
A few important things to remember as you go about writing your own resume headline:
- It’s purpose is to catch the eye of the hiring manager, not tell them everything they need to know, so keep it short and sweet.
- It should contain the same language and keywords used in the job posting.
- Use it to highlight your level of experience or a particularly impressive singular achievement.
- Avoid clichés or generalities and be as specific as possible.
If you follow these guidelines and model your resume headline after the examples contained in this article, your resume will be more likely to get fair consideration from hiring managers. Good luck!