In today's competitive job market, a well-crafted resume can be the difference between landing your dream job and getting overlooked by potential employers. While the content of your resume is essential, the way you present it can also make a significant impact.
One crucial element that can help your resume stand out is a strong, eye-catching headline. But why is having a resume headline important?
In this article, we'll discuss what a resume headline is, the importance of having a compelling resume headline, how to write one, and provide you with examples to help you craft an attention-grabbing headline that will make your resume stand out from the crowd.
What is a resume headline?
A resume headline, also known as a resume title, is a short statement or phrase that appears at the top of your resume, just below your name and contact information. The purpose of a resume headline is to quickly and effectively communicate your value proposition as a strong candidate.
A good headline should convey your key skills, experience, or achievements in a clear and concise manner and entice the employer to read further. Think of it as your personal brand statement or elevator pitch that summarizes your professional identity and makes you stand out from other candidates.
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. A well-crafted resume headline can help you grab the attention of potential employers and increase your chances of being invited for an interview.
What's the difference between a resume headline and a resume title?
The terms "resume headline" and "resume title" are often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different meanings depending on the context.
In general, a resume headline or title refers to a short phrase or sentence that appears at the top of a resume and serves as a concise resume summary of the candidate's experience and qualifications. This is often the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager will see when they review a resume, so it should be attention-grabbing and clearly communicate the candidate's value proposition.
Some people use the term "resume headline" specifically to refer to a brief statement that highlights the candidate's most relevant skills or achievements, while "resume title" may refer to the name or title of the job the candidate is applying for.
Ultimately, the specific terminology may vary depending on the industry, job market, or individual preferences of the candidate or employer. The most important thing is to make sure that the resume headline or title effectively communicates the candidate's strengths and piques the employer's interest in reading further.
Why are resume headlines important?
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. Even for less experienced applicants, 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.
You can include your resume headline on your online profiles, like LinkedIn. Many job applications require online profiles, and resume headlines are often displayed prominently on these platforms, which can help increase your visibility and attract potential employers.
A strong resume headline is an important part of your job search toolkit, helping you to make a great first impression and stand out from the competition.
How do I write a resume headline?
Your resume headline is typically the first thing a potential employer will see, so it's important to make it count. In this section, we'll explore how to write a compelling resume headline that will catch the attention of hiring managers and help you stand out from the crowd.
Here are some steps you can follow to write an effective resume headline:
Keep it concise
Your headline should be brief and to the point, ideally no more than a few words or a short phrase. The purpose of the headline is to quickly summarize your skills and experience and grab the attention of the hiring manager. A concise headline is more likely to be read and remembered than a long, convoluted one.
Keep in mind that your headline is just one part of your resume, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to expand on your hard skills, soft skills, and experiences in other sections. Focus on crafting a headline that's short, snappy, and relevant to the job opening you're applying for.
Tailor your headline to the job
A memorable resume headline should be customized to the job listing you are applying for. By tailoring your headline to the job, you're increasing the chances that your resume will catch the hiring manager's eye and get noticed.
A tailored headline shows that you've taken the time to understand the job requirements and have positioned yourself as a good fit for the position. This can help to increase your chances of being selected for an interview.
Use keywords to highlight your relevant skills and experience
Before writing your headline, take some time to identify your key skills, qualifications, and achievements that are most relevant to the job you are applying for.
A well-crafted headline that's tailored to the job should include specific keywords from the job description. This will make it easier for the employer to see how you can contribute to their organization.
Use Teal’s Resume Builder to quickly compare the skills and keywords in the job posting to those in your resume. Make sure to add any relevant experience to your customized resume and to your application answers.
Use action-oriented language
Use strong action verbs and descriptive language to convey your skills and experience. For example, instead of "Experienced Sales Associate," try "Proven Sales Leader with 5+ Years of Experience."
Highlight your unique value proposition
A good resume headline should communicate your unique value proposition and what sets you apart from other job seekers. Consider highlighting any awards, certifications, or other impressive achievements that make you stand out.
Review and revise
Once you have drafted your headline, review it for clarity, relevance, and impact. Revise as needed to ensure it is an accurate reflection of your skills and experience and is tailored to the job you are applying for.
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.
A great resume headline that stands out typically has certain qualities. Here are some tips for writing a resume headline that gets noticed:
Clarity: The headline is clear and easy to understand, even for someone who is not familiar with your industry or profession.
Impact: The headline makes a strong impression and captures the reader's attention. It should communicate your unique value proposition and highlight your most relevant skills and experience.
Differentiation: The headline sets you apart from other candidates and highlights what makes you unique.
Quantifiable: If possible, include quantifiable achievements or metrics that demonstrate your skills or accomplishments in your headline.
Positive and enthusiastic: Use positive language and avoid clichés and negative words or phrases. Your headline should convey enthusiasm and confidence in your abilities.
Use title case: Capitalizing the first letter of each major word in your resume headline using title case can enhance its readability and professionalism.
Echo the voice in the JD: It is important for the voice in your resume headline to match that in the job description because it helps to convey your personality in a way that aligns with the employer's expectations and company culture. Additionally, using the same voice as the job description can help your application pass through any applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen for relevant keywords and phrases related to the position.
Teal's Resume Builder includes a Professional Summary section with an AI integration feature where you can draft and save multiple headlines. Easily swap them across multiple resumes, depending on the job title you're tailoring your application for.
50+ resume headline examples
When you have limited words to play with, your resume headline needs to be as strong as possible. But how do you convey possibly years, even decades, of work into only one short phrase?
Every industry will require something slightly different, but here are a few examples of resume headlines to get you started:
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.
Innovative Computer Science Major with Strong Coding Skills and a Keen Interest in Artificial Intelligence.
Proactive Journalism Major with Experience in Reporting and Editing for Campus and Community Publications.
Creative Recent Graduate with a Passion for Design and a Strong Portfolio in Graphic Design.
Detail-Oriented Recent Graduate with a Degree in Accounting and Relevant Internship Experience.
Enthusiastic Recent Graduate with a Degree in Marketing and Experience in Social Media Management and Branding.
Creative and Ambitious Marketing Intern with a Passion for Digital Media and Brand Strategy.
Analytical and Driven Finance Intern with Experience in Data Analysis and Financial Modeling.
How to create a resume that matches your resume headline and helps you land more interviews
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.