Ways to write a better CV headline

A CV headline can be a great way to introduce yourself to a hiring manager. What can you do to write this headline more effectively? Check out our tips!



Table of Contents

  1. CV headline
  2. What is a CV headline?
  3. What to include in your CV headline
  4. Best benefits of a CV headline
  5. FAQ: CV headlines

CV headline

When you’re submitting a CV to a hiring manager, it’s important to remember that you’re often competing against hundreds of other applicants. That means the hiring manager is probably only going to look at your CV for a few seconds before moving on to the next. If you want a better chance at landing a new job, you must ensure the top of your CV draws the hiring manager in. An attention-grabbing CV headline is the right way to do that. Here’s how you can create a CV headline that will make recruiters interested in your CV.

What is a CV headline?

A CV headline, also sometimes called a CV title, is a single phrase that goes at the top of your CV. It condenses who you are and what you do into a one-liner that can grab a recruiter’s attention. Here are a few CV headline examples to give you an idea of what this term means and how to write a CV headline:

  • Detail-oriented project manager with 20 years of experience
  • Prize-winning photographer with thousands of completed jobs
  • Digital programmer with six programming awards
  • Sales associate who achieved a 42% revenue increase
  • Advertising expert who’s landed $50 million in sales

These are all good CV headlines because they showcase what’s great about you in a single fragment. Your CV headline needs to be only a few short words, but it needs to showcase the most impressive thing you’ll be able to do for the company if you get the job.

What to include in your CV headline

How can you build an effective CV headline for your own CV? You first need to know what goes into one. Here are a few ideas to start brainstorming your CV headline.

  • Your biggest accomplishments
  • Competitions and awards you’ve won
  • Job title
  • Quantifiable achievements that prove your talents
  • Years of work experience

Remember, a CV headline is supposed to highlight your absolute best accomplishment, and there’s no need to highlight anything else in this section. When crafting your professional CV, think about the one thing you would tell someone who asked you why they should believe you’re good at your job. That’s what you need to put into your CV headline.

Best benefits of a CV headline

A CV headline isn’t something every CV has, but if you’re trying to boost your job search, it’s a great option. Here are a few of the benefits of a CV headline:

  • Helps you stand out
  • Provides your best achievements at a glance
  • Helps with applicant tracking systems (ATS) that scan CVs for important keywords
  • Shows off your skills with less experience

With a CV headline, use phrases for important skills and experiences that reflect the job application and highlight your top strengths. Think of your new headline as an even more condensed version of a professional summary, and a great way to show off all the reasons your CV should be the one that goes to the top of the pile.

FAQ: CV headlines

Q: Do all CVs need a CV headline?

It’s not a requirement to include a CV headline. In fact, a professional summary or objective is much more widely utilized. However, with that being said, a CV headline is a great way to beef up your CV header and make recruiters give your CV an extra look. If you’re a job seeker, adding a headline is an easy way to give more punch to your CV.

Q: How long should my CV headline be?

CV headlines should not be longer than a single line. They don’t need to be written as a full sentence; instead, use a phrase, much like your professional summary. Instead of writing “I am an empathetic health care worker with six Top Worker awards,” for example, shorten it: “Empathetic health care worker with six Top Worker awards.” This more concise approach is what hiring managers will expect.

Q: Should I come up with multiple CV headlines?

Yes. It’s important to personalize your CV headline for the specific job posting, just like you might personalise other elements of your CV profile, depending on the job you’re applying to. You may, for example, write all three of these headlines:

  • Decorated graphic designer with 25 years of experience in 2D animation
  • 2D animator with two Primetime Emmy Awards
  • 2D graphic designer who has worked on multiple syndicated children’s TV shows

These things all highlight different elements of the CV, meaning they might be good for different CV applications. Look at your cover letter, the job description, and the rest of your CV to see what you can highlight for a specific application.


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