Resume Headline Examples and Writing Tips

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A resume headline can help your resume stand out from the crowd by drawing attention to your most impressive achievements and skills. A brief sentence at the top of the document, your resume headline tells the hiring manager who you are as a candidate – and shows why your application stands out from the crowd.

How to Use a Resume Headline

Like a resume profile or resume objective, the headline goes directly below your contact information.

Because it’s located at the top of the page, your resume headline is likely the first thing a hiring manager sees when looking at your application. It’s a strong opportunity to make a quick case for your candidacy.

Capitalize the Headline

Keep in mind it's called a headline for a reason: Your phrase can be pithy — in fact, it doesn't even need to be a complete sentence. Choose words that convey your strongest skills and attributes in the least amount of space. Capitalize nouns, verbs, and longer words in the headline as you would if you were writing the title to an essay.

Personalize Your Headline

Ideally, your resume headline will be personalized for every job you apply to. You want to catch the attention of hiring managers and interviewers with a headline that's relevant to the job requirements. If the job description calls for growth and sales, for instance, your headline might read "Grew Revenue 20 Percent." For a job where managerial skills are a priority, your headline might be "People-Focused Leader with 10+ Years Managerial Experience."

But don't make the mistake of thinking only mid-career or executive-level candidates can use a resume headline — entry-level and early-career candidates can also take advantage of this space to inform hiring managers of their abilities.

Try resume headlines like "Detail-Oriented College Grad Available to Work All Shifts" or "Graphic Designer Skilled with Adobe Products" or "Experienced Waiter and Bartender."

Remember, your headline ideally accurately sums you up as a candidate, while pointing out that you have precisely the skills and abilities called for in the job.

Tips for Writing a Resume Headline

  • Keep it short and sweet. An overly long resume headline is worse than none at all. Remember that hiring managers and recruiters spend a limited amount of time on each resume – as little as six seconds, according to one study. Your headline should grab their attention and hold it … and then persuade them to read the rest of your resume.
  • Avoid clichés. If everyone is a “go-to person” with “strong communication skills” and “a track record of success,” then no one is. Don’t fall into the trap of throwing around industry jargon or well-worn phrases. Make your case with percentages, dollars, data – and focus on the qualities that feature most prominently in the job description.
  • Use keywords. Your resume headline can help you get past the applicant tracking system, too, if you use it well. Make sure to include resume keywords from the job posting. You can also include keywords that crop up in postings for similar jobs in your field, to cover your bases.

For more tips on how to write a resume headline, see this guide.

Resume Example With a Headline

James Applicant
123 Main Street
Denver, CO 80022
c: (111) 555-1111
e: jamesapp@email.com

Award-winning Sales Associate with Seven Years’ Experience

Experience
Sales Associate, Amy's Boutique
Denver, CO

September 20XX - Present

- Provide private shopping appointments for high-end clients

- Assist customers in handling returns and exchanges

- Selected to participate in team project to design and arrange window displays and rearrange floor layout

Sales Clerk, MediaPlay
Madison, WI
September 20XX - August 20XX

- Assisted customers in selecting and purchasing electronic equipment

- Managed customer product returns and exchanges, and answered any questions regarding return policy

- Led training courses for incoming sales clerks

- Nominated for Employee of the Month three times for exceptional sales record

Cashier, Shaw's Grocery Store
Madison, WI
September 20XX - June 20XX

- Provided customer service at cash register and scanning stations for hundreds of customers daily

- Responsible for stocking, arranging floor displays, and opening/closing procedures

- Greeted patrons at door and assisted in retrieving their items

- Received Employee of the Month award for outstanding customer service

Education

ABC College
Madison, WI
Bachelor of Arts, May 20XX

Related Skills

- Skilled at operating computerized cash registers, scanners, and other POS systems

What Else You Should Know: How to Write a Resume

More About Resumes: Resume Examples | Top 10 Resume Writing Tips | How to Create a Professional Resume | Resume Objectives