When you’re browsing the web, what urges you to click on a specific article and read it? Of course, its headline. Well, the same applies to a recruiter glancing at your resume—if you have a stellar resume headline, they will have no other choice but to keep on reading.

But unless you’re an experienced copywriter, crafting snappy and eye-catching one-liners can be a real hassle. Plus, being aware that they can be hit-or-miss only adds to your anxiety that you’ll fail anyway, that you should give up on the idea of writing it on your own and use a resume headline generator instead.

The good news is—you can definitely do it on your own, and we’ll show you how in this comprehensive guide. Dig in!

Key Takeaways

  • A resume headline is a brief and compelling statement you place at the top of your resume.
  • Its purpose is to urge a recruiter or hiring manager to stay on the document and read it down to a T.
  • To craft a strong headline, you need to be concise, highlight your strengths, format it adequately, and tailor it to the role you’re applying for.
  • Don’t include buzzwords, superlatives, or industry-specific language in your resume headline, and make sure not to confuse a headline with a resume objective or summary.
  • Never use the same generic headline for multiple jobs. Make it as specific and genuine as possible to grab a hiring professional’s attention.

What Is a Resume Headline, and Why Is It Important?

A resume headline is a short and attention-grabbing statement that you place at the top of your resume, right under your contact information. Its main purpose is not only to introduce you to the recruiter but also to highlight your skills, expertise, and accomplishments.

The benefits of this one-line statement are multiple. First and foremost, it is here to compel a recruiter to continue reading your resume to the very end and learn why you fit the position.

Second, it helps you beat a recruiter’s best friend—an Applicant Tracking System. The ATS refers to software that hiring professionals use to filter out resumes and keep only those that are a good match for the positions. This way, as many as 75% of applicants get rejected at the very beginning of the hiring process.

Resume Headline

However, if you include a strong resume headline or summary, the software will recognize your professional title and a few more keywords and automatically accept you as a relevant candidate.

A resume headline is not meant only for professionals who have years of experience in their field. Quite the contrary, it’s also highly beneficial for fresh graduates looking for opportunities or those who want to change careers, as it enables them to highlight their skills and qualifications.

With a solid resume headline, you’ll leave a strong (and lasting) impression on a hiring professional. Plus, it will not only set you apart from other candidates, but it will also convince a hiring professional that you’re the top one.

8 Ways To Write a Resume Headline That Stands Out

Writing a strong resume headline that stands out demands a careful and tactful approach, the key of which is to keep everything succinct and job-relevant.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Be Concise

A resume headline shouldn’t be too long—the ideal length is 5–15 words. Its main point is to offer a brief and concise sentence that a hiring professional will read within seconds. If you make it longer than one line, you’ll end up with a resume summary or objective.

Thus, when writing a resume headline, focus on the most stunning and relevant information. Try to include figures, percentages, and any other specific detail to quantify your accomplishments. Generic phrases and cliches such as guru, ninja, and master are a huge no, so stay away from them.

#2. Place the Headline in the Right Spot

Make sure that you know where to put your headline—it should be right under your name. After all, it serves as a (strong) introduction to everything you’ve included in your resume.

Since this is a place where you’ll also place a resume title, don’t confuse the two. Even though they look quite similar, their purpose is completely different. A resume title only mentions your professional title, whereas a headline includes your skills and experience.

#3. Use Title Case

To make your resume headline stand out, use a title case or a bigger font than in the rest of your resume. Though small, this resume formatting detail can make a significant difference in readability.

If you’re not sure which words to capitalize, consider using a title case tool that will do it in your stead. However, don’t let it be too flashy or overemphasized, as you may not only ruin the overall format of your resume, but it may look quite odd.

#4. Note Your Strengths

Is there any better way to catch a recruiter’s eye than by highlighting what sets you apart from other applicants?

Think about your greatest strengths and choose the core one(s) that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. It can be your rich experience, unique skills, or accomplishments that you’re most proud of.

Whatever you opt for, make sure that it’s attention-grabbing at first glance. If you decide to add your skills, don’t include more than one or two.

#5. Use Numbers

Figures add to the credibility of not only your headline but also your resume in general. Thus, whenever possible, add them to back up your accomplishments or highlight your experience.

For example, if you’re writing a resume headline for a manager, you can state that you have 7 years of experience in managerial positions or that you have achieved a 30% budget increase in your previous positions.

However, it could be a challenge to quantify your accomplishments if you’re crafting a resume headline for a student or recent graduate. Still, you can add some remarkable results that you’ve achieved during your studies, such as an exquisite GPA.

#6. Format the Resume Headline Correctly

Though there is no rule on how to write a resume headline, you can use a general formula that goes like this:

Job title + Years of Experience + Top skill(s)/Achievement/Certification

For a better illustration, check out a resume headline sample below:

Multilingual Account Executive with 5 Years of Experience in Marketing

Also, make sure that you use the present and not the future. You’re not discussing your career goals and aspirations, but what you have achieved so far, so focus on it.

#7. Customize Your Resume Headline

Writing the same resume headline for several job applications is a safe way for your resume to be ditched. As is the case with a resume and cover letter, you should write a new headline for every position you apply for.

Your resume headline needs to target the position, so recycling and reusing old ones is not a good idea.

#8. Use Keywords and Action Words

Before you set out to write your resume headline, check out the job posting and identify the most important keywords to include. This way, you’ll make your resume ATS-friendly and automatically pass the initial screening.

To make your resume headline stronger, add action words as well instead of omnipresent expressions like ‘motivated’ or ‘team player.’ Some of the strong words to consider include but are not limited to:

  • Innovative
  • Award-winning
  • Certified
  • Specialized/specializing
  • Registered
  • Passionate
  • Seasoned
  • Streamline
  • Manage
  • Supervise
  • Develop
  • Increase
  • Improve
  • Boost

35+ Resume Headline Examples

Here you can find 50 resume headline examples for multiple jobs, as well as resume headline examples for entry-level positions.

  • Award-Winning Marketing Specialist With 8 Years of Experience Driving 30% YoY Revenue Growth
  • Certified Sales Professional With 10 Years of Experience Surpassing Targets by 20%
  • PMP Certified Project Manager With 15 Years of Experience
  • Marketing Graduate Eager to Apply Skills in Campaign Development
  • Detail-Oriented Junior Project Coordinator With Strong Organizational and Problem-Solving Skills
  • Educator With 12 Years of Experience and ESL Certification Dedicated to Academic Excellence
  • Graphic Design Intern Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite
  • Research Scientist With 15 Published Research Papers
  • Machine Learning Specialist Improving Predictive Models
  • Business Analyst and Tableau Power User With 8 Years of Experience
  • Content Writing Intern With Strong Writing and Editing Skills
  • Junior Data Analyst Proficient in Excel and Data Visualization Tools
  • Social Media Savvy Public Relations Intern
  • Supply Chain Analyst and Inventory Optimization Specialist With 11 Years of Experience
  • Westlaw Certified Legal Researcher Providing Comprehensive Legal Analysis
  • Operations Manager With 10 Years of Experience Streamlining Business Processes
  • Content Creator and SEO Specialist Increasing Website Traffic by 40%
  • Finance Graduate With Analytical and Financial Modeling Skills
  • CompTIA Security+ Certified Cybersecurity and Network Expert With 9 Years of Experience
  • Certified Administrative Professional Supporting C-Suite Executives
  • Event Planning Intern Enthusiastic about Creating Memorable Experiences
  • Healthcare Administrator and HIPAA Compliance Expert With 10 Years of Experience in Improving Patient Care
  • Customer Service Expert With Zendesk Certification and 5 Years of Experience
  • Content Strategy Manager and SEO Specialist With 12+ Years of Driving Online Growth
  • Junior Software Developer Proficient in Java and Python Programming
  • Legal Assistant Trainee With Strong Research Skills
  • Sales Representative and Negotiation Expert Achieving 150% of Sales Targets
  • Data Entry Specialist With a Typing Speed of 80 WPM Ensuring Data Accuracy and Efficiency
  • Agile Product Owner With 9 Years of Experience in Successfully Launching 15 Products
  • Business Development Professional and Negotiation Expert Generating $2M in New Revenue
  • Experienced Crisis Management Expert Enhancing Brand Visibility and Reputation
  • Customer-Focused Retail Manager With 10+ Years of Experience in CRM
  • Lean Six Sigma Certified Supply Chain Manager Optimizing Logistic Operations
  • Healthcare Administration Graduate Committed to Improving Patient Care
  • Teaching Assistant Passionate about Education and Supporting Student Growth
  • Customer-Focused Retail Associate With Solid Listening and Communication Skills
  • HR Specialist With SHRM Certification and 5 Years of Experience
  • Quality Assurance Engineer Ensuring Product Excellence
  • Senior Financial Analyst and CFA Charterholder Maximizing Profitability for 13 Years
  • Nonprofit Coordinator and Grant Writing Expert Experienced in Driving Social Impact Initiatives
  • Senior Marketing Strategist with 12+ Years of Driving Successful Campaigns
  • Digital Marketing Intern Skilled in SEO and Social Media Management
  • Senior Financial Analyst and CFA Charterholder Maximizing Profitability
  • Retail Operations Manager With 15+ Years of Increasing Store Efficiency
  • Seasoned Sales Director Exceeding Target Sales for 20 Years
  • Tech Savvy and Solution-Oriented Junior IT Support Specialist
  • Marketing Assistant With Strong Analytical and Social Media Skills
  • Entry-Level Network Engineer Proficient in Networking Protocols and Security
  • Senior Product Manager Spearheading Successful Product Launches for 11 Years
  • Award-Winning Senior Copywriter With 14 Years of Experience

What Not to Include in a Resume Headline

There are some things that you should never include in your resume headline. Check them out:

#1. Exaggerating Statements

It is true that the point of a resume headline is to grab a recruiter’s attention and possibly elevator-pitch yourself. Yet, you should be mindful of how you do it, as not all headlines will pitch you. Some might seem rather preposterous.

In other words, slight boasting is acceptable. Hence, it’s perfect to say that you’re experienced, award-winning, certified, seasoned, specialized, etc. However, stating that you’re the one and only, the best, top-rated, or incomparable will take you nowhere but to the ‘rejected’ pile.

#2. Resume Objective

A resume headline and a resume objective are not the same, so don’t mix apples and pears. The former introduces you to the recruiter and invites them to keep reading your resume. It’s not goal-oriented; instead, it focuses on your experiences, skills, and accomplishments you’ve gained so far.

The latter, however, is included in a resume for internships, entry-level jobs, or when you’re changing careers, and it focuses on highlighting skills and aspirations.

#3. Generic Statements

Tailoring your resume headline to the role you’re applying for is essential; otherwise, you’ll end up with a statement that is too generic and thus unimpressive. And without specificity in both your headline and entire resume, nothing will set you apart from other applicants.


For this reason, avoid using the same headline for job after job. Even if you manage to pass the ATS and reach the hiring professional, they won’t be very impressed.

#4. Buzzwords and Jargon

While the industry-specific language may demonstrate your knowledge, overusing it may be a bore for hiring professionals. It would require them to invest more time and effort to decipher what you wanted to convey, and, given the scope of their work, they’re not very willing to do so.

Buzzwords are no different; even if they are everywhere and they may even sound interesting, they don’t disclose much.

For instance, if you claim that you’re ‘the highest revenue generator,’ what would compel anyone to believe you? But, if you state that you’re ‘acknowledged for generating $30 million in sales,’ you’re giving your claim more credibility.

Final Thoughts

A headline is one of the best ways to draw a recruiter’s attention to your resume. This short and snappy sentence will not only introduce you to the hiring professional but will also show them that you’re the right candidate for the role.

Since it’s not easy to be brief and compelling at the same time, crafting an impressive resume headline may take some skill. But with our guide, you’ll manage to write it without hassle. Good luck!