Headlines are important in a resume because they guide hiring managers, recruiters, and electronic tracking systems (ATS) to important information (“Professional Work Experience,” “Education”) and because they help you organize your resume logically. There are four basic resume headlines, but some resumes may require more or less.
The first resume headline is the one used for your name and contact information; this always appears on the top of your resume. On the second page of your resume, it may include “Page 2 of 2” or some other phrase indicating continuation.
The second headline is the one that precedes your summary or profile and explains the job position you are looking for. If that position goes under two or three job titles (CFO, VP of Finances, Senior Financial Executive), then it is fine to include two or three job titles in the headline. You might also use this headline to include a branding statement (such as “Reorganization Specialist”).
The third headline usually comes before your reverse chronological list of jobs. This headline generally has “Experience” in the title.
The fourth resume headline is “Education,” which may be expanded to “Education and Professional Licenses” or “Education and Professional Development,” depending on your background.
In addition to these headlines, a resume may contain a headline for career highlights, languages, computer competencies, publications, or other special information.
All headlines in a resume should have a consistent look and feel. For example, they should all be the same font, size, and format (such as centered or flush right, and bolded). The only exception is the first headline, where your name should be prominent.
Most important, headlines should be clear and straightforward so that hiring managers, recruiters, and applicant tracking systems quickly find the information they need. If your resume headlines are not serving your job search, please contact Robin’s Resumes® for help.