The best resume templates aren't just about fancy looks. They have to be sleek and professional. Their layout needs to show off your value. Here's what'll help.
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A resume title (resume headline) is a short sentence which shows a candidate’s experience and skills. The purpose of a resume title is to make a first impression, catch the hiring manager’s attention, and make them read on. Good resume headlines are snappy one-liners that summarize the job seeker’s industry career.
It’s a way to make the hiring team say, “This is the right kind of candidate.” Without a headline, the manager sees a big question mark as she reads your resume. The right title makes it obvious why she should keep reading.
The best part? It’s easy to write a good headline for your resume once you know the steps.
This guide will show you:
- How to write a catchy resume headline that works.
- 30+ good resume headline examples for 20 different careers.
- 5 ways these taglines for resumes help your job search.
- A sample resume title shown in a full application.
Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume samples here.
Don’t confuse resume headlines with resume headers. What’s the difference? Check out our dedicated guide: Professional Resume Header Examples & Why They Work [20+ Tips]
Looking for some awesome resume examples? See:
- Entry Level Resume Examples
- Student Resume Examples
- General Resume Examples
- Career Change Resume Examples
- Creative Resume Examples
- One Page Resume Examples
- Free Resume Templates Google Docs
- Best Resume Formats
Resume Headline Examples and Ideas
Put a resume title headline under your name on your resume. Check out these general ideas—
Resume Title Examples
- Resourceful project manager with 10 years of experience.
- Engaging high school teacher skilled in ESL and IEPS.
- Administrative assistant with 2+ years of experience in real estate.
- Multi-lingual licensed RN with 5+ years of experience in pediatrics.
- Hard-working CNA and Nightingale Award recipient.
- Personable sales representative who exceeds sales targets by 25%.
- Skilled bartender with 4 years’ experience in high-end restaurants.
- Likable manager and winner of management ABA.
- Diplomatic receptionist with deep interpersonal skills.
- Friendly cashier and GAP 3x employee of the month.
- Sales associate who attained 42% revenue increase.
- Two-time Shingo prize-winning videographer.
- Graphic designer with 6 years in national agencies.
- Business analyst with 7 years of DevOps excellence.
- Time Out’s server of the year, Chicago, 2017.
- Mechanical engineer with 9-year track record of boosting productivity.
- Digital marketer who landed $30 million in sales.
- Certified medical assistant with strong emergency care background.
- Insightful IT manager with history of beating deadlines.
- Growth marketing manager with 5-years in sales.
- Enthusiastic retail clerk with 3+ years’ Outdoor Outfitter experience.
- Engaged office assistant with 4 years of experience in busy shipping firm.
Now that's something to include on your resume!
Those resume headline examples won’t let the hiring team forget you. They’re short, punchy, and memorable. They’re also packed with great info. The best are the shortest and least formula-driven—
Can you imagine starting your resume with “Two-time Shingo Prize-Winning Videographer?” What about, “Digital Marketer who Landed $30 Million in Sales?” Or “Friendly Cashier and Gap 3x Employee of the Month?”
Pro Tip: Don’t just write one resume title. Write several. Pick the one that shows at a glance you’re the #1 candidate for the job.
Now, see what it can look like on a resume made with the Zety resume generator:
Need to write a longer resume profile to go with the headline of your resume? See our guides:
Why Write a Resume Headline?
Why should you write a resume title or resume headline?
Because they fix this:
The hiring manager (we’ll call him Ken) finally gets to your resume. He’s been skimming resumes all morning and his eyes are dry as raisins.
He sees that you’re sort of the applicant, but not really. He guesses you sent your resume to 1,000 jobs this week and clicks <DELETE>.
Don’t let him.
To get Ken in your corner, write a short headline for your resume.
Here are five ways a headline for resumes can save you from the job search black hole:
1. Highlight Your Value
A headline shows key resume “selling points.” Managers see instantly who you are and what makes you different from others.
Putting a title on your resume shows the benefit they’d get if they hired you. It gives the job you do and a little about why you do it so well.
2. Ideal if You Have Lots of Experience
Some candidates have done a ton of stuff. Especially in a two page resume, walls of words can mystify potential employers. They may not understand your key points.
A resume headline gives them a handle to grab. It narrows your long work history down to a central theme. It shows why they should interview you for this job.
3. Focus Your Pitch
Writing a strong title for your resume forces a quick answer to the “What do you do?” question. It helps managers remember you without struggling.
4. Get Past the ATS
A headline can help teleport your resume past the Applicant Tracking Software. Too many candidates get weeded out as “not a good fit” before a human even sees them.
5. Less Experienced Applicants Can Use Them to Show Skills
Writing a resume with no experience? A resume headline can show you’ve got the right job skills. It can show you’re innovative, high-performing, or a team player.
You can also highlight a massive achievement. Did you complete a Watson Fellowship? That’s not a bad fact for an entry-level headline.
Pro Tip: Name your resume file with your name + “resume”. Don’t just call it “resume” or “my resume.” That gets you lost in the flood of generic submissions.
What goes best with a headline in a resume? A summary of qualifications. See our guide: Summary of Qualifications on a Resume: 20+ Statement Example
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
How to Write a Resume Headline
How do you write a resume headline?
If you don’t grip employers right away, you’ll never get another chance.
That’s why it's vital to take your time writing a resume title.
Stephen King spends “months and even years” writing opening sentences. “An opening line,” says King, “should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”
Do that with the headline of your resume.
Here’s how to write a good resume headline:
- Keep it short. You want the hiring team to remember your headline, so limit it to one phrase that catches their eye.
- Put it at the top of your summary. A resume headline belongs in the first line. (Under your name and contact info.)
- Write it in title case. Use all capitals like the headline of an article. Capitalize My Title has a great title case tool.
- Shun cliches. Don’t say you’re “highly skilled” or “very dependable.” Let your resume achievements speak for themselves.
- Write many. Create a multiple headlines for each job you apply to. Use the same job title they list in the ad.
- Add your years of experience—if relevant experience is a big plus for the job. (Save this for your summary if the headline for your resume is better without).
- Use keywords. Does the job offer want an “RN” skilled in “emergency care” more than anything? Use those resume keywords for a boost.
- Certification or License. If the job needs one of these, put it up front in your resume title.
- One or two of your skills. This is optional, but if the job wants one skill over all others (e.g., being bilingual), include it in your headline.
- A massive achievement. Have you got a work accomplishment that drops jaws? Those go great in titles for resumes. They're a great way to describe yourself on a resume.
Follow those steps and the resume headline examples above, and employers will think of you early and often.
Pro Tip: Can’t fit all ten tips in one phrase? Cut some. Use our tips as a guide, but the #1 rule is “keep it short” for a reason.
Struggling with how to kick off your resume? See our guide: How to Make a Professional Resume
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Summary of how to write a resume headline:
- A headline is a tagline that makes hiring teams remember you.
- Pack your resume title with key points that show you’re the best choice.
- Keep your headline short—a single phrase—and punchy.
- Follow the resume headline examples above.
Have you got a great headline for your resume? We’d love to see it. Are you having a problem writing a resume title you’re proud of? Give us a shout in the comments. We’d love to chat!
Frequently Asked Questions about Headlines for Resumes
What is a headline on a resume?
A resume headline is a short statement showing the candidate’s job title, professional strengths, and hard or soft skills. Its purpose is to catch the attention of the reader and serve as a very brief introduction for the candidate. A resume headline is just one sentence long and placed at the top of the resume, as the first line of your resume summary. Depending on your resume style, you can also paste the headline into other parts of the resume, for example, under your name in the header.
What is a good headline for a resume?
A good headline for a resume must be:
- Short: Just one sentence that can help you describe your professional experience.
- Memorable: Avoid clichés and be original to boost your chances of getting noticed.
- In Title Case: Write it in the title case, like the headline of a newspaper article.
A great resume headline example for a restaurant server resume is: Time Out’s Server of the Year, Chicago, 2017. It introduces the candidate by presenting a big professional achievement while being short and concise. A good resume headline is short and effective, like an elevator pitch.
How to write a resume headline?
Here are the steps for writing a good headline for a resume:
- Start with a strong personality adjective.
- Add your professional title or area of expertise.
- Mention the years of experience if the job requires a certain number of years.
- Highlight your biggest quantifiable accomplishment.
- Throw in one or two of the key skills the employer is looking for.
- Mention certifications or licenses if they’re required for this job.
- Use keywords from the job advertisement.
- Limit your resume headline to one sentence.
- Use Title Case like in a newspaper article.
Try to brainstorm your resume headline ideas and write 3–4 resume headline examples for yourself. Then, pick the best one to include in your resume structure. Remember that the point of writing a headline for a resume is to describe yourself professionally.
What’s the difference between a resume headline and a resume title?
The terms resume headline and resume title mean the same thing. They are used to describe a one-sentence introduction of a job candidate. This type of sentence is placed at the top of the resume, usually as part of the resume summary. The point of including a resume headline or a resume title is to catch the reader’s attention with impressive achievements of the job candidate, and provide a brief answer to the question ‘Why should we hire you?’
Why is a resume headline important?
In terms of resume Dos or Don't’s, a resume headline is certainly a big DO. A good headline for a resume helps recruiters immediately identify the candidate as one that matches the job requirements. A perfect resume includes a memorable resume headline that helps the candidate to get noticed and remembered by the hiring staff, and leads to being invited to a phone interview or an in-person job interview.