First impressions matter, which is why a well-phrased resume headline is of grave importance; it is the first thing the recruiter looks at. Also known as resume titles or CV headlines, resume headlines summarize your qualifications in a single, concise line. Effective resume headlines capture the recruiter's attention.
But what is a good headline for the resume? In short, a good resume title helps you stand out.
Of course, there are various factors you need to consider when writing your resume headline. In this article, we've provided a detailed guide to crafting a professional resume title.
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A resume headline is a one brief line that summarizes your entire resume. It is also referred to as a profile title or CV headline. You can’t have a winning resume without a winning resume headline. Hence, it is important to give as much thought to the title for your resume as you give the body of your resume.
Resume headlines are typically placed at the very top of resumes, right under the name. Hence, one of the first things the recruiter would look at a resume is undoubtedly the resume headline. It tells your story and shows your value. Your resume title should convey your identity and potential value to the company at a glance.
Recruiters typically spend only a few seconds reviewing a resume, and a compelling resume headline can capture their attention, prompting them to read further. Therefore, it's crucial to craft resume headlines that immediately grab people's eyes. In practice, a well-crafted resume headline can significantly increase your chances of standing out among a large pool of job applicants.
Whether you are a fresher or an experienced professional, a good resume title can be beneficial. However, to write a killer headline for your resume is not an easy task. But don't you worry. Follow the steps below and you can create a professional resume title that wins over the recruiter.
You want to capture attention and keep recruiters’ eyes glued to your resume. Using strong, catchy phrases gives spice to your resume headline and makes it unique.
Regular or generic words do little to nothing to make you stand out. Words like "hardworking", "goal-getter", phrases like "good resource personnel", "honest sales representative", and etc., are very common and overused words and phrases which easily define anyone and do nothing to give you an edge. Therefore, opting for more captivating and impactful terms provides your resume with a unique and individualized identity. These words set you apart in a less generic manner.
📚Further reading: 60+ Words to Best Describe Yourself for Interviews & Resumes
After crafting out your winning resume headline, you should place it at the most conspicuous part of your resume, which is at the top, right under your name and contact information. It introduces your entire resume. For that reason, it should be positioned where it will catch the recruiter's eye first among the many resumes from other job seekers.
These are additional quick tips that will further ensure your resume title comes out perfectly and grabs attention when you use them.
It is suggested to write your resume title with each word capitalized to make it stand out even more and show professionalism.
Write down a few resume titles that are compelling and highly relevant to the position. Pick the one that shows your "selling point"’ the most. It takes time, but it would be worth it eventually.
There are specific keywords (e.g. skills, experiences, personal traits, and etc.) most looked out for by recruiters. Adopting them can help boost the resume title which gives candidates a much more advantageous edge.
A resume headline should be glaring, not hidden. Place it under or beside your name, and right above the section of personal information in resume. However, if the resume format you adopt can't best highlight the resume headline in the above scenario, you can opt to place your resume title at the top of the resume summary or career objective section.
Since career objectives are usually written from a job seeker's perspective, explaining how a candidate wishes the potential employer can benefit their career, which is something a recruiter may care less about. Besides, objectives can be vague and generic sometimes.
💡Pro tip: Make sure the focus of your resume title is kept on your strongest skills and the most relevant experiences which can show your qualifications, instead of adding vague objectives or ambiguous adjectives.
This is important if you have experience in the field you are applying for. Employers often seek candidates with a greater capacity, and experience can serve as solid proof. Adding the number of years you have been working in the relevant industry/field can certainly give you an edge.
📚Further reading: Work Experience on a Resume｜Samples, Formats, Writing Guide
Ideally, a good resume headline should be a 'one-liner.' Avoid redundant words or phrases and make it straight to the point. Cliché lines indicate that the candidate is either inattentive or unqualified. Resumes with generic headlines often go unnoticed among other job applicants and are skipped over.
If a specific license or certification is mentioned in the job requirement, and you by chance own it, make sure that you put it to good use while crafting your resume headline.
Numbers can easily catch hiring managers' attention and at the same time, demonstrate the potential value you can bring to the organization. The accomplishments you've achieved in school or at work is something specific to you, which can profoundly set you apart.
Since every company has different core value and organizational culture, it is highly suggested to customize your resume title for each job you apply for, even the job title is the same. A tailor-made resume headline demonstrates enthusiasm and attentiveness, indicating that the candidate is paying close attention.
The character limit of the resume headline section in Naukri is 250 characters, which can approximately accommodate 3 - 5 sentences. However, do remember the essence of a professional resume headline - concise and unique. Keep it an one-line phrase as previously instructed. If you have abundant of achievement and experience to showcase, choose the one that can instantly differentiate you from other candidates, and save the others for the profile summary section.
Writing a resume headline often seem discouraging to fresh graduates. This comes from the feeling of inadequacy when comparisons are made to people with many years of experiences.
As a fresher, your resume headline should grab the recruiters' attention in a split second. Instead of including years of experience, write out things that make you unique as an individual and a candidate, such as your greatest strengths or specific personal traits. Outline the skills required for the job position/industry/field you are applying for. As long as you have acquired the expertise needed, you would be viewed as a professional.
Even with a lot of experience, relevance can be easily overlooked when your resume headline is not properly structured. Apart from showing how long you have been working in that capacity, you also need to show how well you have done within those years.
In the midst of several achievements, identify and adopt the best ones in your resume headline. Show statistics or quantifiable data to prove your statements and the value you added to your previous companies. Do note that it is suggested to include the goals you reached in your most recent position.
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--- Originally written by Ryan Goh ---