Resume Headlines and Why They Matter

Headlines sell the story

Resume Headlines and Why They Matter

“Writing headlines is a specialty – there are outstanding writers who will tell you they couldn’t write a headline to save their lives.” – The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership, Bill Walsh

Resumes headlines are also known as resume titles.  They serve several purposes.  Here are two of them.

First, they raise the number of times your resume appears in keyword searches.   This purpose is critical to ensuring that hiring managers even find your resume on the Internet or in their database.

Second, in a glance, the hiring manager or the recruiter can decide whether to take time to read your resume.  In most cases, resume readers do little more than glance at resumes before deciding to read them.

Headlines in the Resume Objective

A good place to insert the headline is in the objective statement.  Headlines should be at the top of the resume.  Resume writers put the objective at the top of the resume.

Headlines in the Summary of Experience

A headline should be concise.  Overloading a resume with an objective plus a summary of experience is not wise.  It could discourage hiring managers and recruiters from reading your resume.

If you are going to use either as a headline for your resume, I recommend that you use a summary of experience.  A hiring manager or a recruiter will make a decision to interview based on your experience.  They usually infer that your career objective matches their interest by the mere fact that you have applied for a specific job.

Writing attention-getting resume headlines just got a lot easier.

Writing great headlines is not always easy.  Some people have special skills for writing the headline in media.  In many cases, media companies leave the headline writing to the copy editors.  To repeat the opening quote, “Writing headlines is a specialty – there are outstanding writers who will tell you they couldn’t write a headline to save their lives.”

However, here is a simple tip for word selection for your resume headline.

In a very straight forward fashion, just copy the job title and other wording from the job description.  Then paste the same wording into your resume headline. When hiring managers or recruiters are doing resume searches, they are logically looking for wording that matches the wording of their job description.

Headlines sell the story.  Let a great one sell your story.