How To Write The Best Resume Headline, With Examples

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Published
Oct 3, 2022
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Updated
Oct 3, 2022

How To Write The Best Resume Headline, With Examples

Holly Landis

Your resume headline goes directly below your name and contact information at the top of the page. It's short and is used to highlight your most important skills.

One of the easiest parts to overlook on a resume is a small yet important detail that introduces who you are and what you do: the resume headline. We’re sharing top tips for how to write an eye-catching headline, along with examples to inspire you as you write yours.

What Is a Headline on a Resume?

Your resume title or headline is the sentence that goes directly below your name and contact information at the very top of the page. It's short (we’re talking a maximum of 20 words) and is used to highlight your most important skills. Essentially, it’s your one-line elevator pitch on why you’re the best option for the job.

Your number one goal is to make a hiring manager stop in their tracks and have their interest piqued enough that they’ll want to find out more about you. 

Think of recent news or magazine articles you’ve seen — the ones that you took the time to read were probably the ones with the catchiest intros. The best overall resume titles should do the same.

18 Best Resume Headline Examples

When you only have a few dozen words to play with, your resume headline needs to be as concise as possible. But how do you convey possibly years, even decades, of work into only one sentence? 

Every industry will require something slightly different, but here are a few examples to get you started:

Marketing, sales, or administrative roles

  • Copywriter with 4+ years writing advertising copy and content in the food and beverage industry.
  • Social media manager with 10 years experience growing online presence and increasing engagement for globally-recognized B2C brands.
  • Senior sales account manager for luxury goods and retail businesses, consistently hit sales goals the past four quarters.
  • Receptionist with 7 years experience in schedule management and customer service.

Technical, engineering, or IT positions

  • Award-winning civil engineer with 10+ years experience in government agency infrastructure management.
  • Business analyst for healthcare and wellbeing businesses, highly experienced in Power BI and Tableau.
  • Environmental engineer with 3 years experience in climate-friendly building supplies and ecological architecture.
  • Experienced field engineer specializing in aerospace design and manufacturing.

Healthcare and professional services

  • Registered nurse with 10 years emergency room experience and experience leading outpatient clinical procedures.
  • Tri-lingual pediatric nurse with experience communicating with patients in Spanish, French and English.
  • Senior certified public accountant specializing in family businesses and succession planning.
  • Tax preparer with experience using ProConnect Tax Online, ProSeries Professional, Lacerte, and CCH Axcess Tax.

Management and leadership roles

  • Navy veteran with over 20 years experience leading project management teams of 10+ people.
  • Operations director overseeing a $3 million annual budget across 7 departments.
  • Warehouse manager with experience leading departments of 50+ people, over 10 years of forklift experience and efficiency-focused operational skills.

Students and recent graduates

  • Graduate software developer with experience in Python, C++, HTML, Java and Unix.
  • Aspiring disease and chronic illness researcher, current biology student.
  • Early childhood education major with 2 semesters of hands-on lab experience and student teaching experience.

Why You Should Include a Resume Headline

You might be wondering why a resume title is important. Surely the other 90% of the page is where the real enticing information is? That may be the case, but there are added benefits that come with having a catchy headline.

  • You’re instantly grabbing the hiring manager’s attention.
    Going through hundreds of resumes is time consuming for recruiters, so they’re only looking at each one for a few seconds. Having relevant information at the top of your resume means that they’ll be more likely to stop at yours and keep reading to see if you’re a good fit.

  • Your strengths are front and center.
    You can establish credibility in your industry from the very beginning with your most relevant and highest qualifications and outcomes listed first.

  • It makes your resume unique and contextual.
    Even with a similar work history, no applicant should have a headline that’s exactly the same as yours. You’re also helping hiring managers to understand where your experience fits into the broader picture and how it applies to the position you’re hoping to get.

How To Write a Memorable Resume Headline

Before you dive into rewriting your resume title, remember that the words you choose should convey your uniqueness as an applicant and provide value to the hiring manager. In other words, what you say needs to benefit them in some way like saving time or giving them a clear picture of who you are.

Teal's Resume Builder includes a Professional Summary section where you can draft and save multiple headlines. Easily swap them across multiple resumes, depending on the job you're tailoring your application for.

Three resume headline examples in the Teal Resume Builder for a job seeker applying for sales positions

Be concise

If there’s only one thing you remember to do, it’s keep it short. Anything beyond 25 words will start to read like an objective or lengthy paragraph. Save the details for the meatier sections of your resume under your job history and education.

Show off your personality

There’s nothing stopping you from getting a little creative with your headline, even in more serious industries. Clearly call out your unique strengths and skills, and, wherever possible, include numbers to quantify your claims.

Try to avoid cliched adjectives like “hard-working” or “motivated.” Not only do most candidates say the same, but they don’t bring any value to the hiring manager. Hopefully anyone they hire will work hard and be motivated at work! Instead, use fact-based phrases like “award-winning” if you've won awards in your field.

Tailor your headline to the job

If relevant to your past experience, include the exact job title in your headline and use keywords from the job description to emphasize specific traits or qualifications. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) will search through digital resumes to find exact matches, so you’ll have a better chance of getting an interview when you’re echoing the language the company is already using.

You should already be customizing your resume to the jobs you apply for, and the same goes for your resume headline. You can speed up this process by creating multiple resumes in a tool like Teal’s Resume Builder, where you can pull in different sections and adjust them as needed.

Use sentence case

You want your resume headline to be as attention-grabbing as possible, but still make sense within the context of your other information. Keep your headline in sentence case, where all words except proper nouns, like brand names, are in lower case. This is likely what you’re most familiar with, since that’s how you write any other sentence!

Final Thoughts

No matter what industry you work in, presenting yourself as the ideal candidate to fill an open position should always be top of mind when updating your resume. 

Clear and concise resume headlines are the best way to get noticed and move your application to the top of the hiring manager’s stack.

With Teal’s Resume Builder, you can create customized resumes that will grab the attention of any recruiter. With several professional templates to choose from and seamless integration to pull information from your LinkedIn account, you can quickly put together the information you need to tailor your resume for each job application.

Want to craft a catchy LinkedIn headline? Check out our guide on the best LinkedIn headlines for job seekers.

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Holly Landis

Holly Landis is a writer and digital marketing consultant.

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