Using Your Resume Headline to Your Advantage (With Examples)

31 October 2018 Reading Time: 5 minutes

Your resume headline and title are a vital part of your resume header. More than half of recruiters look for your name and title first when screening your resume. Choosing the most appropriate title allows you to introduce who you are, describe your value proposition, and ensure recruiters can see you in your role with ease. So how do you write a resume headline that will help you get noticed and bring you one step closer to getting an interview? See below!

What is a resume headline?

Your resume headline, more commonly referred to as your resume title, is a short phrase highlighting your value as an applicant. It’s typically positioned on top of resume within your resume header, along with your name, contact information, and sometimes a resume website.

For experienced applicants, your resume title allows you to summarize your experience and achievements in a quick one-liner. For less experienced candidates, it allows you to give insight into who you are and the impact you hope to bring.

With recruiters dedicating 6 seconds to review your resume, an effective resume headline can be the difference between being looked over and being shortlisted for an interview.

How do I write a resume headline?

As Shakespeare once said, brevity is in the soul of wit. This motto should be applied to your resume title. Consider what you’re hoping to accomplish with your resume title. It’s not being used to tell the recruiter everything you’ve done in your career or go in-depth about your experience – your resume sections are used for that. It’s also not being used to tell the recruiter how to contact or find you, your resume header and address do that. So what’s left? Catching and focusing the recruiter’s attention.

Keep it short

Your resume headline should read exactly like a news headline. It’s a snappy phrase that will pique interest and give you enough information that you want to continue reading. For example, a resume title that reads “Software engineer who has been working in the field for 10 years. Experience with large companies including Microsoft and Google. Goal-oriented and looking for full-time work” simply won’t have the same impact as “Decade-long software engineer with experience in disruptive technology”. Sometimes less, is more.

In his marketing resume, Louis did just that. Now working with Hotjar, Louis found it important to describe his approach to marketing. It’s simple, it’s short, and it tells you exactly what to expect.

Enhancv Using Your Resume Headline to Your Advantage (With Examples) resume headline

Tailor to the most important aspect of the job description

Doing your background research will always make the difference between a prime candidate and someone who has quickly thrown their resume together. Take time to analyze the job listing to see exactly what the company is looking for.

In his data scientist resume, Pavel noted Booking.com were looking for applicants with extensive knowledge of data analysis. He reflected this in his resume title when applying to the company.

Capitalise on metrics

Recruiters are searching for tangible proof of your ability. One way to do this is to provide a measurement alongside your achievement. For example, increased sales by 20% in Q1. While this is typically seen in your previous experience section, it doesn’t mean you can’t include metrics in your resume headline. In fact, this can aid you in keeping things short and tailoring your resume headline to the position. “Customer support representative with a 90% retention rate”.

Tip: When creating your resume with Enhancv, our content analyzer will flag achievements in which you have forgotten to include a metric.

Throw out clichés

Look, we get it. You’re goal-oriented. You strive for success. You’re dedicated. Aren’t we all?  Using common phrases will do nothing to set you apart and catch the recruiters attention. When putting your resume headline together, think about how many others may have used the exact same phrasing you have. If it’s something you think is going to be used a lot, try something new.

In his growth marketing resume, André described himself as a growth marketing aficionado who used to analyse data in banks.

Enhancv Using Your Resume Headline to Your Advantage (With Examples) resume headline

Not only does this intrigue us with his unusual career path, but it tells you exactly who he is. You can say it was successful, as he later went on to get hired at Microsoft.  

Change your resume title for every position

Creating your resume can feel like a lengthy process. This often lends itself to using the same resume for as many positions as possible once we’ve created one. But as we’ve learned from Robert Coombs’ story, quantity does not always equal results. Taking the time to write a resume title that is specific to each job you apply for will show the recruiter you really mean business.

Tip: Using Enhancv’s resume builder, you can easily create copies of your resume and save versions that are specific to certain areas and jobs.

No mistakes

Your resume title shouldn’t be longer than a sentence. If you have mistakes in it, the recruiter will notice straight away. Given this will be the first part of your resume the recruiter reads, a resume headline with typos will ruin your chances of getting called for an interview. Ensure you conduct a resume review and have a colleague read over your resume before you submit.

Tip: You can easily have a colleague review your resume with Enhancv’s built-in referral link. This allows you to send a link to friends who can later add comments on sections that need improvement.

Examples of resume headlines from people who got hired

IT Sales Resume that got hired at Software AG

Enhancv Using Your Resume Headline to Your Advantage (With Examples) resume headline

Product Manager Resume that got hired at American Express

Enhancv Using Your Resume Headline to Your Advantage (With Examples) resume headline

Network Engineer Resume that got hired at Verizon DMS

Enhancv Using Your Resume Headline to Your Advantage (With Examples) resume headline

Marketing Resume that got hired at Sidewagon

Enhancv Using Your Resume Headline to Your Advantage (With Examples) resume headline

Program Manager Resume that got hired at Deepmind

Enhancv Using Your Resume Headline to Your Advantage (With Examples) resume headline

Using your resume title to your advantage

Whether you want to call it a resume title or resume headline, the objective is clear. Your resume title should be concise, it should capitalize on metrics where possible, be specific to the job you’re applying for, and it should focus the recruiter in on your resume in the short time they take to read it. Not only will your resume headline allow you to reduce your content down and hone in on the most important skills for the position you’re applying for, but it will get you one step closer to the interview you want. As we can see from above, it’s one part of the puzzle to getting you your dream job.

Dean O'Reilly

Psychology student with keen interest in academic research. Currently exploring the world of marketing distribution and content creation with Enhancv to help people get closer to the job of their dreams. Read more about my journey to Enhancv on Fast Company or Gay Times.

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