How to Write a Resume Headline that Stands Out

Did you know that your resume’s introduction can help you stand out from other candidates’ resumes and impress your hiring officer? Your resume headline enables you to highlight your potential to recruiters. It also allows your recruiter to concisely identify you as the ideal candidate for the job.

A headline also compresses your skills and work experience into an impressive phrase crucial for the selection process.

This article will discuss vital tips to help you write a concise and impactful resume headline.

How to Write a Resume Headline that Stands Out

What’s a Resume Headline & Why Is It Important?

A resume headline is a catchy phrase that helps you show who you are and what value you’ll add to the organization. It’s crucial to include a headline on your resume since the recruitment team skims over numerous resumes and determines which one deserves further evaluation. It helps to show that you have what it takes.

Your headline for resume displays your experience and skills in line with the position you’ve applied for.

In addition, using a resume headline enables your resume to get past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – a software that scans resumes sent by job applicants. The software distinguishes between the resumes that match the recruiter’s qualifications and those that don’t. The software scans your resume to check for job-specific keywords, meaning if your headline is irrelevant, your resume might be automatically rejected. Most applicants are usually kicked out by the ATS during this stage.

Therefore, you must ensure you have a professional headline for resume to get past the ATS software and have a chance of getting an interview.

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Resume Headline VS Resume Title – What’s the Difference?

Before you learn how to draft a fantastic headline for resume, it’s crucial to distinguish between a resume title and a resume headline. As the name suggests, a resume title is just a professional title for your resume. A resume headline includes your professional title, skills, and experience level. For instance, if you are applying for the role of a senior software analyst, your resume title and headline would be as shown below:

Resume Title:
Software Engineer

Resume Headline:
Software engineer with five years of experience in developing Ruby-based programming frameworks.

Both resume title and headline should be carefully written and aligned to the advertised position despite their difference.

Resume Headlines vs. Resume Profiles

resume headline

Both resume profiles and headlines have similar features since they showcase a summary of your qualifications.

However, there is a slight distinction since a resume headline is a simple phrase while a resume profile is a paragraph that can be in the form of bulleted points.

Related: Linkedin Headlines for Job Seekers

It’s also important to note that a resume headline is different from a resume objective. For the resume objective, you discuss the position you are applying for, not your skills.

You can use both a resume headline and a resume profile. The headline draws the hiring manager’s attention, and the profile gives detailed information drawn from the headline.

Tips for Writing a Resume Headline

Now that you know what a resume headline is let us look at some excellent tips to help write great resume headlines. They include:

  • Capitalize your headline. You should capitalize the headline for resume to ensure it stands out.
  • Include keywords. Using keywords borrowed from the job listing or job description shows you took time to read the provided details. This might easily help you stand out from the competition.
  • Keep it concise. A headline for resume shouldn’t exceed a sentence and needs to be a short phrase. A longer phrase may lose the purpose of a headline for resume.
  • Avoid clichés: Most applicants use words like “hardest worker,” “good communicator,” and other common phrases. For your resume headline to stand out, you must avoid such clichés. Instead, come up with unique but relevant words.
  • Incorporate relevant skills and experiences into your headline.

Resume Headline Examples

Below are some outstanding resume headline examples that you can use as guides to help you craft an appealing headline for your resume:

Example 1
Detail-oriented Professional with 7 Years of Administrative Experience.

Example 2
Detail-oriented Professional with 7 Years of Administrative Experience.

Example 3
Award-Winning Software Engineer with Ten Years of Experience in Mobile App Development.

Example 4
Dedicated IT Specialist with 4 Years’ Knowledge in SAP-HANA.

Example 5
Detail-oriented Controller Providing Flawless System Reports in the Retailing Industry.

What to Avoid while Drafting Your Resume Headline

Some mistakes may easily cause you to lose your chance in a job application. Here are some of the things you should avoid while drafting your resume headline:

  • Don’t forget to tailor your headline. Generic headlines show that you haven’t put much thought into the application.
  • Avoid giving incorrect information. Get the recruiter’s attention but don’t give false information about your experience or skills.
  • Avoid using objectives in your headline. Objectives state your goals and expectations, but they don’t have much value on your resume headlines. Ensure you don’t deviate from indicating your expertise in line with the job listing by using objectives. Instead, you can focus on your skills.

Final Word

An ideal resume headline helps shed some light on the entire resume and showcase your expertise to recruiters. The right impression will help recruiters see you as the ideal candidate. We hope this guide has provided the essential tools you need to draft the best resume headline for your job application.

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