Your resume title is the first thing you should list under your name and contact information. It’s different from your job title. This is an opportunity to introduce your professional self in a snappy line or two of attention-grabbing, highly relevant, and keyword-optimized text.
A good resume title in 2024 (also referred to as a resume headline) should make the perfect first impression. Most people don’t include one, so it can be really effective if you use the right headline. It will resonate and set you apart from the competition.
The best resume headlines are specific to your industry and include what makes you a great hire. This post includes more than 30 industry-specific resume titles compiled by our team of professional resume writers. You can use this list to navigate directly to your industry or job function for some examples of effective resume titles.
What is a resume title, exactly?
A resume title or headline is a short statement on your resume that includes some core skills or achievements. Your resume title should be a short introduction of your professional self. Usually used to preview the resume summary, it is a condensed one-liner that sums up who you are and where you've succeeded.
Example: Resume Title: Top Ranked Sales Manager with 7 Years’ Experience
A resume title should be located at the top of your resume, above your resume summary but below your contact information.
The goal of a resume headline is to sum up your skills and years of experience into a short phrase that will stand out and show the potential employer exactly what you have to offer.
It also allows you to list relevant or required certifications and licenses on your resume. This quickly tells the employer that you’re qualified for the position.
Resume headline and title examples by industry
In summation: your resume title is super important. When it comes to formatting, the career experts at ZipJob highly suggest using something similar to our example above. But, what about the wording?
A good resume title often includes your target job title, your key skills, your qualifications, and/or your years of experience. You can also include your awards, industry, or specializations.
Here are a bunch of resume headline examples from our professional resume writers, organized by industry:
Resume titles for Accounting
Certified Public Accountant with 9 Years Experience in Auditing
Flexible Accountant who Adapts to Evolving Accounting Best Practices
CPA with 3 years experience in budget forecasting and tax planning
Resume titles for Arts
Graphic Designer with Massive Client Base and Beautiful Portfolio
Art Therapist with 8 years combined Experience
Artist with 3 Years of Acknowledged Experience Including Gallery Features
Resume titles for Engineering
Dedicated Civil Engineer Skilled in all Phases of Engineering Operations
Passionate Automotive Engineer with Design Expertise
Highly Efficient Chief Engineer for Large-Scale Residential Properties
Creative Entry-Level Engineer Providing Insightful Support
Resume titles for Finance
Portfolio Manager with Fortune 500 Experience
Financial Adviser with Proven Track Record
Bank Operations Expert with 10 years’ Experience
Resume titles for Marketing
Experienced Marketing Manager Specializing in Non-Profit Industry
Marketing Specialist with 10 years’ experience in Cosmetics
Digital Marketing Professional who excels in data analysis, social media marketing, and online brand management
Resume titles for Nursing
Emergency Room Nurse with Experience in Urgent and High Volume Settings
Registered Nurse with Experience Treating a Wide Variety of Patients with Diverse Care Needs
Certified Nursing Assistant with 7 years’ Experience Caring for Elderly
Resume titles for Sales
Top Ranked Sales Manager with 7 years’ experience
Bilingual Sales Professional with Experience in Management
Sales Executive with Experience in Technology Industry
Customer Service Rep, Extensive Healthcare Experience
Resume titles for Technology
Java Engineer with 5 years Full Stack Experience
Full Stack Web Developer with Management Experience
Developer and Project Manager with Leadership Experience
IT Specialist: Network Installations, Data Migrations, Data Recovery
Resume titles for Trade Worker
Welding Specialist with Extensive Experience using Torch, Plasma and Stick Weld
Warehouse Product Coordinator with 10 Years’ Experience
Security Guard on High Alert, Maintaining Consistently Excellent Coverage
View 200+ more professional resume samples for all industries, along with a guide to writing resumes from our career experts.
What makes a resume title so effective?
Resume headlines are really important for three reasons.
1. It’s one of the first things a potential employer will see
Though located after your name and your contact info, the resume headline is the first thing that describes your fit for the job. Hiring managers and employers spend about six seconds scanning your resume. The best way to control what they see is to lay out your resume correctly. This means using resume headers and sections correctly. No header is more important than the very first one.
To put it bluntly, if hiring managers love the title, it’s way more likely they will read on. If the title is bland or nonexistent, you’ll have missed the opportunity to stand out from the crowd as the perfect candidate. The crowd doesn’t land the interview: the individuals do!
Look at the following two headers.
This is a very well-constructed resume title with awesome keyword usage that really sends a strong message:
Full Stack Web Developer | Software Engineer | Project Manager
Stakeholder Management | Web Application | Team Leadership
Compare the above example with this, a lazy and short resume title that does nothing more than simply name a previous title:
As you can see, it’s possible to write a resume headline that is short and concise while still conveying a robust message. By simply putting the name of a single position, you are limiting yourself in the scope of employment opportunities you can seek out.
Remember, the job market is ever-changing. You want to present yourself as dynamic and multi-talented. By introducing yourself as a professional with a larger scope of expertise, you will open countless more doors.
2. It will help your resume get past applicant tracking systems (ATS)
Due to the huge number of applicants in the modern job market, over 90% of resumes use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan resumes before they reach a hiring manager.
Applicant Tracking Systems scan for keywords, often parsing a resume using its headers. Since the ATS is so prevalent these days, it’s incredibly important to tailor your resume to pass the systems!
That’s where your awesome resume title will help you. If formatted correctly, the ATS will be able to read your headers and present your relevant keywords to the hiring manager.
To make sure your resume passes an ATS test, take advantage of ZipJob’s free resume review!
3. It is a great place to use keywords
Using keywords effectively in your resume title will hugely increase your chances of landing an interview. Let’s take another look at the awesome resume header we saw above:
Full Stack Web Developer | Software Engineer | Project Manager
Stakeholder Management | Web Application | Team Leadership
This time, think about all the keywords present in this resume title. As you may have guessed, the words used in the title should always match the words used in the job description. This title would be great for multiple job descriptions from “Full Stack Web Developer” to “Project Manager.”
If during your job search you plan on sending out dozens of quick-fire applications, this is your best bet. Similarly, if you are posting your resume online or submitting it as anything other than a response to an open job, you might want to take a broad approach.
However, if you are targeting a very specific listing, you want to change your strategy slightly.
Instead of including an array of words that may fit the array of opportunities you are seeking, scan the job listing and tailor your resume title accordingly. If the listing puts a big emphasis on project management, be sure to add that to the title. If it focuses on communication, put that up there.
You don’t want to miss an opportunity because you didn’t tailor your resume to pass the applicant tracking system.
Read our complete guide on exactly how to use keywords on your resume.
Tips for writing a strong resume title
When you’ve spent your career as a Project Manager, it can be tempting to simply put that at the top of your resume. But, as we’ve iterated, doing so won’t serve you very well. You need to put some time into crafting a compelling headline for your resume. Here are some tips you should follow to ensure that your resume title stands out from the crowd and piques the hiring manager’s interest enough to call you for a coveted interview spot:
Specificity is critical
Yes, you want your headline to give some clues as to your skills, achievements, and qualifications, but you need to keep the text on one or two lines of your resume. This isn’t the place to write a long, drawn-out narrative about your history. The idea is to grab the reader’s attention so that they want to read more of your resume. Avoid putting a long blurb that they have to actually read. Instead, put a few words that they can glance at to get the gist of what you have to offer.
While specificity helps to keep the message to a minimum, it also ensures that you are delivering a poignant message. General titles like “Manager” don’t add value to your resume. They are too vague and tell employers nothing about what you have to offer their company.
Tailor it to the job description
Also, your resume title shouldn’t be only about you and your history. Your entire resume should be outward-facing – meaning, it has to show the hiring manager what you can do for them and their team. This is where it’s important to remember to include keywords from the job description. You may be a “Project Manager with 10+ Years of Experience” but if the job description specifically mentions that the position is for a Project Manager who can lead diverse teams, it would be a better idea to include a bit about team leadership in your title. That would look something like this, “Project Manager Dedicated to Mentoring Junior Team Members.” You can bring up the part about having over 10 years of experience in your summary paragraph.
Use action verbs
When you’re writing your resume, it’s crucial to portray yourself as an achiever rather than a doer. One of the best ways to do this is to show action. Including action verbs in your title conveys a sense of purpose in your experiences, indicating that you take your positions seriously and convey important skills like leadership. Action also makes your overall resume more engaging which further helps you stand out from the crowd.
Grab their attention
Since your title is supposed to be about how your history aligns with what the company needs, you can use some of the space in the title to wow the hiring manager with accolades from your past. Compound adjectives at the beginning of your title can help your entire resume message start on solid footing. It can be difficult for some people to talk about achievements because of the fear of coming across as too boastful, but if you’ve won awards, mention that in your title. Write something like,
“Award-Winning Graphic Designer Passionate About Turning Ideas into Tangible Branding Pieces.”
“Top-Performing Account Manager with a History of Exceeding Goals.”
Prospective employers love the idea of getting someone on their team who can showcase standout qualities because they know that those types of contributions can help their team achieve company goals and foster a positive work environment.
Some cliche phrases may seem like safe choices – like “team player,” “hard-working,” and “results-oriented.” These phrases are overused and usually garner nothing more than an eye-roll from hiring managers who are tired of seeing them. You’d be better served by coming up with something more original and specific to create a meaningful resume title. Remember, your goal is to impress hiring managers, not bore them. A little creativity and thoughtfulness go a long way to presenting your personal brand in a way that makes you memorable.
Avoid exaggerating your skills, achievements, and experiences in your title in the name of making an impression or injecting relevant keywords. If you’ve never mentored any team members, then leave that off. If you haven’t won any awards or been recognized as a top performer then exclude that, too. Just because a manager in your past has told you that you did a great job on something, doesn’t mean that you were recognized as a top performer. Also, if you’re working on a credential, like a CPA licensure, but haven’t quite finished it, don’t claim the credential in your title
You don’t want to lose credibility just because you put a couple of words on your resume that were less than true. If you get to the point where you’re being offered a position, your application is likely to be put through a background check. Red flags that pop up during the background check can put your application into an invalid status which could cause you to get ghosted by the company.
Proofread and edit
It’s just a title – do you really need to bother proofreading it? Yes, yes you do! Here’s some homework for you: go to LinkedIn and search for the word “manger.” How many profiles do you see with “manager” misspelled? This misspelling is happening in the headline – the first thing someone sees. So, take some time to read your title to make sure nothing is incorrect.
First impressions matter
Your resume title will be the thing that first catches the hiring manager’s eye. So, make sure it’s amazing! Follow our basic principles and tips, take a look at some of the resume headline examples and you should have a great idea of what it takes to really stand out for the job you’re applying for.
Are you still not sure what your resume title should be? Look at ZipJob's resume writing services. We have more than 100 professional resume writers ready to help you update your resume's title, format, and content.
Caitlin Proctor, CPRW, Certified Professional Résumé Writer
Caitlin joined the ZipJob team in 2019 as a professional resume writer and career advisor. She specializes in strategic advice for executives, career pivots, and remote workers. Read more resume advice from Caitlin on ZipJob’s blog.