How To Write a Resume Headline (With Steps and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A resume summarises the skills and experiences of a candidate so that a hiring manager or recruiter can determine whether they're right for a role. Good resumes typically have divided sections such as resume header, headline, profile, educational qualifications, experiences, skills and personal interests, attempting to convey a particular plan to the reader. Though not a mandatory section, having a catchy, well-written resume headline helps your resume stand out from the competition, and learning more about this concept could help you write a successful resume.

In this article, we discuss how to write a resume headline and provide examples to help you draft your own.

Read more: How To Write A CV (With Template and Example)

How to write a resume headline

A resume headline, also called resume title, is a short phrase that conveys your professional capabilities and indicates your suitability for the job you're applying for. Including this section in your resume helps to capture the attention of the interviewer easily. A recruiter reviews numerous resumes on a day-to-day basis while hiring for a particular job post. A well-written resume headline catches the recruiter's attention and helps them understand that you're the right fit for the role.

Here's a guide showing how to write a resume headline:

1. Choose a position for the resume headline

The resume headline is the first thing an interviewer sees while reviewing your resume. Hence, the placement of the resume headline is an important factor to consider. Keep the headline at the top of your resume, right below your name and contact information. It's also important to use title case in your resume headline.

2. Keep it short and straightforward

Try to keep the headline concise and direct. You may use short phrases rather than full sentences. Hiring managers may remember the headline while reading the resume if it's simple and easy to read.

3. Add keywords

Before writing the headline, read the job description for the job you're applying for. You can identify specific keywords in the description that match the required skills and experience for the job. Include these keywords in your resume title to make your resume appears relevant for the job. Adding specific keywords encourages the reader to look into the details of your resume.

Read more: How Companies Use Applicant Tracking Systems (With Tips To Pass Through Them)

4. Be specific

While writing the headline, try to be as specific as possible, while remaining concise. This can help make your headline easier to remember. You can use the space to provide information regarding your unique skills and capabilities.

5. Include certifications and licenses

If you hold any certificate or license relevant to the job you're applying for, be sure to include that information in the headline. Adding relevant certificates or licenses increases the value of your resume. It also highlights your eligibility for this job to the recruiter.

6. Include years of experience

Having relevant experience is a plus while applying for the job. If you have significant experience or if you're a subject matter expert, add that to the resume headline. If your overall work experience is less than five years, mention that in summary rather than the headline.

7. Customise your headline for each role

Though your skills and experience may be the same, different job profiles require different requirements. So it's important to customise the resume headline for each job you're applying for. Review the job description multiple times and identify important keywords for each job. Once you've got a clear understanding of the job requirements, you can highlight your skills to match the job profile.

Read more: Sharing Your Educational Background on Your Resume and in Interviews

Tips for writing a resume headline

Here are some general tips you can use to help you write an effective resume headline:

  • Add information that's different from your objective: The resume objective explains your career goals, therefore, you can add it as a separate section in your resume. To minimise repetition, you can use the headline to focus on your skills and experience.

  • Be honest and professional: It's important to be honest about your skills and strengths when writing your headline. Try to keep the language positive and professional.

  • Consider your adjectives carefully: Using an adjective makes your resume stand out. Consider choosing relevant adjectives that show your skills or work ethic.

  • Use short sentences: To make the headline more interesting, highlight one essential skill, achievement or experience.

    Read more: How To Say You Are Available Immediately on a Resume

Examples of resume headlines

Including an attractive resume headline can help encourage the employer to read your resume further. Here are some examples of effective resume headlines for various job profiles:

Sales examples

Here are some examples of a resume headline for a sales position:

  • Award-winning sales manager with eight years of experience in FMCG

  • Sales executive with an outstanding track record of meeting targets for the past three years

  • Motivated sales associate with five years of selling experience

Engineering examples

Here are some examples of a resume headline for an engineering position:

  • Lead software developer with experience in JavaScript and PHP

  • Certified Agile Scrum Master performing the role and conducting agile training

  • Driven engineer with four years of design experience

Customer service examples

Here are two examples of a resume headline for a customer service role:

  • Attentive and dependable customer service representative with expertise in the automotive industry

  • Seasoned customer service executive and thrice recipient of service excellence award

Translating examples

Here are some examples of a resume headline for a translator position:

  • Dedicated language translator with high proficiency in five languages

  • Three years of experience translating English to Spanish

  • Passionate English to French translator

Public relations examples

Here are two examples of a resume headline for a public relations job:

  • Public relations strategist having association with various global print and online media

  • Ambitious public relations executive with experience in campaign result analysis

Nursing examples

Here are examples of a resume headline for a nursing position:

  • Professional registered nurse in Hong Kong with five-plus years of experience

  • Committed and passionate with expertise in emergency room care

Accounting examples

Here are examples of a resume headline for an accountant position:

  • Experienced and adaptable accountant with four years of experience in a media company

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with three years of experience in public accounting

Resume headlines for young graduates

Young graduates can focus on internships while writing resume headlines. Adding internships or any similar projects done as part of your degree helps, especially if the experience matches the job you're applying for. Include personal skills or achievements in your headline if that's relevant for your job profile. Listed below are some examples of resume headlines suitable for young graduates:

  • Civil engineer: Dedicated civil engineer with internship experience in various construction companies

  • MBA graduate: MBA graduate with specialisation in operations

  • Content writer: English literature degree holder with a passion for creating articles that interest people

  • Software developer: Trained in JavaScript and PHP with one year of internship experience

  • Sales representative: Efficient in interacting with clients and possesses excellent communication skills

  • Data entry clerk: Motivated data entry operator with proficiency in spreadsheet and word processing applications.

Difference between resume headline and resume profile

Though both resume headlines and resume profiles summarise the candidate's skills or qualifications, there are some important differences between the two concepts. They both appear at the top of a resume, but the primary difference between them is the intention behind using them.

A resume headline is a brief sentence or phrase that tries to catch the recruiter's attention to a candidate's resume from among many other resumes. A resume profile can be a small paragraph or set of points that provide details regarding the skills or qualifications mentioned in the headline. It typically includes more details and may discuss what role the candidate is seeking. Here's an example of a resume headline and resume profile of a quality analyst that illustrates their differences:

Resume headline example

Here's an example of a resume headline for a quality analyst:

CSQA Certified Quality Analyst with five years of experience

Resume profile example

Here's an example of a resume profile for a quality analyst:

Certified Quality Analyst with five years of experience in both manual and automation testing. Proficient in developing test plans, strategies, test set creation, review and execution with in-depth knowledge of various testing frameworks and tools.

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