The beginning of a resume sets up a tone for what comes next. When recruiters and hiring managers read resumes, they're scanning applications to find those candidates who match the job requirements.
And here's the thing: If you start by writing an attention-grabbing, job tailored resume headline, you'll increase your chances of your resume being noticed and actually read.
Because the headline is what first gets your resume past those 5 or 7 seconds of recruiters and hiring managers’ scrutiny.
Despite being the shortest element of a resume, many job seekers struggle with and fail to write an effective headline that grabs the hiring manager's attention. But not you -- not anymore.
Read on to learn:
You'll also get 10 resume headlines ready-made for your resume to help you impress potential employers with your job application right from the start.
Alright, let's get into it!
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What Is a Resume Headline?
A resume headline (or resume title) is a summary of your career, stated in a few job-related statements or phrases.
Also known as a resume title or tagline, it's most commonly a short one-line sentence that summarizes your skills and experience and lets the reader know you're qualified for their job opening.
The purpose of this short yet valuable sentence is to help both the recruiter and hiring manager quickly understand what makes you a good candidate for the job -- and to grab their attention and motivate them to continue reading your resume.
Since the headline is the first thing they'll see (right after your name), it's your chance to show them that you can, in fact, fulfill the requirements they're looking for and make a difference as an employee.
Just like how an attention-grabbing title of a book or article can generate interest, intrigue and compel the reader to keep on reading to get more information, your headline should make employers curious and eager enough to find out more about you.
So, think of it as an attention-grabbing opener that must quickly let a recruiter or hiring manager know exactly why they should hire you.
To achieve this goal, this part of a resume should put forward the most relevant parts of your work experience and career in a concise and compelling way.
Why Is Resume Headline Important?
With all of the competition out there, you've got to get noticed. And you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of a potential employer and convince them to read your application.
Otherwise, they'll move on to the next resume in their pile of submitted applications and you might never get a chance to prove your worth.
Hence, a headline can be a turning point on a resume.
If you want to put your best foot forward, a good resume headline is essential because it:
Grabs the reader's attention and increases the chances of having your resume read and selected for the next hiring stage.
Provides you an opportunity to point out why you're a good fit for the job by displaying your skills and accomplishments.
Gives you a chance to brand yourself as a field expert right from the start
Emphasizes your unique selling points that make you stand out from the crowd and give employers a reason to hire you over others.
Allows you to easily tailor your resume to each job by customizing this concise description and writing a new headline for each application.
How Can a Resume Headline Level up Your Job Search?
A headline can play a vital role in the success of a resume. With this in mind, it's also safe to say that it can be a game-changer in your job searching journey.
Positions you as an expert in the field
A headline allows you to build your personal brand within a few words.
If you write a headline that shows your expertise, the employers will instantly perceive you as an industry-expert based on the very first impression of your resume.
Grabs employer's attention
Whenever they publish a job posting, employers are swamped with information.
In a pile of hundred job applications, a great headline can help you grab the much-wanted employer's attention.
Simplifies tailoring a resume
If you are applying to several different jobs, it can be difficult to write a resume for each one.
Due to its length, a headline allows you to quickly and easily write new job-specific content on each version of your resume without rewriting it from scratch.
Directs the reader's attention
Having a title on a resume is perfect for job seekers with a long work history or diverse career background.
By putting forward the most relevant pieces of your career, a headline can direct the reader's attention and focus it on the most relevant and transferable experiences.
Improves compatibility with ATS systems
Since a good headline should entail keywords relevant to the job description, having more of these job-related words improves the compatibility with applicant tracking systems - software used by companies to receive, scan and organize job applications.
Is It Mandatory to Have a Headline on a Resume?
The answer to this question is short and simple.
No, a resume headline is not mandatory.
However, if you want to stand out among other applicants and ensure your resume's effectiveness in the job hunt - having an eye-catching title can give it a big boost.
What Should a Resume Headline Entail?
The content of a headline may vary depending on the work experience and career path of each resume owner.
Read on to learn what to include in your resume headline depending on your previous experience.